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Could There Be a Planet Hidden on the Opposite Side of our Sun?
The sun might seem like a pretty huge galactic blind spot, but we've already managed to glimpse behind it, and there's nothing there in the way of another Earth.

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Two places on opposite sides of Earth may hold the secret to how the moon was born. NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft are about to enter these zones, known as the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points, each centred about 93 million miles away along Earth's orbit.
As rare as free parking in New York City, L4 and L5 are among the special points in our solar system around which spacecraft and other objects can loiter. They are where the gravitational pull of a nearby planet or the sun balances the forces from the object's orbital motion. Such points closer to Earth are sometimes used as spaceship "parking lots", like the L1 point a million miles away in the direction of the sun. They are officially called Libration points or Lagrangian points after Joseph-Louis Lagrange, an Italian-French mathematician who helped discover them.

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The two STEREO spacecraft (Ahead and Behind) continue to separate, by orbit design, so that they are 66 degrees apart from each other as of August 5, 2008. This allows them to see more and more of the Sun at the same time. The Behind spacecraft can see 31 degrees more of the Sun than can be seen from Earth. The Sun rotates on its axis about every 27 days which means Behind can see features almost 2.5 days before they come into view from the direction of Earth.
When the two spacecraft are 180 degrees apart in 2011, we will for the first time directly observe the entire Sun at the same time.

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Artist's rendering of the STEREO "A" and "B" spacecraft orbits throughout the mission.




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NASA is giving 3-D glasses a new leave on life. The agency has released the first 3-D images of the sun, captured by a pair of satellites known as STEREO (solar terrestrial relations observatory).
The agency says that such images should help understand coronal mass ejections, giant solar flare ups that can trigger magnetic storms on Earth. STEREO may also improve forecasting of such storms, which can damage satellites, harm astronauts and cause power outages.

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NASA's Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) satellites have provided the first three-dimensional images of the sun. For the first time, scientists will be able to see structures in the sun's atmosphere in three dimensions. The new view will greatly aid scientists' ability to understand solar physics and there by improve space weather forecasting. This web page contains 3-D anaglyph video and images.

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Sun174608
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Credit NASA

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On April 23, NASA will unveil 3-D images of the sun from NASA's Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) on the web, television and museums across the country . For first time, scientists will be able to see structures in the Sun's atmosphere in three dimensions. The new view will improve space weather forecasting and greatly aid scientist's ability to understand solar physics.

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NASA will hold a press conference on Monday, April 23 at 15:00 GMT to unveil new 3-D images of the sun from the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO).
For the first time, scientists are able to see structures in the Sun's atmosphere in three dimensions. The new view will improve space weather forecasting and greatly aid scientist's ability to understand solar physics.

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