NASA’s STEREO (Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory) mission that gives amazing views of the sun including the first ever simultaneous view of the entire star at once. The mission was launched in 2006 and NASA is celebrating its 10 year anniversary now.
STEREO of NASA is a solar observation mission. Two nearly identical spacecraft satellites namely STEREO-A and STEREO-B were launched in 2006 into orbits around the Sun that cause them to respectively pull farther ahead of and fall gradually behind the Earth. This enables stereoscopic imaging of the Sun and solar phenomena, such as coronal mass ejections.
According to Science World Report, there had been other missions, such as the ESA (European Space Agency) and the SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) Satellites, but little have been found regarding the search for Sun-related questions. STEREO was the first to capture the first full 3D imaging of the sun and the first to render and map coronal mass ejections accurately. Thus, NASA coordinated both STEREO satellites to fly just inside and just outside the Earth's own orbit, to get data from three distinct areas in the solar system.
NASA has released a video on the occasion of the 10 anniversary of NASA's STEREO mission. The video reflects on the top 5 achievements of the mission over the years, including discovering the anatomy of coronal mass ejections, the eruption of plasma from solar corona and mapping of the entire sun. The mission also rendered assistance in tracking solar storms through space and even provided the opportunity to see storms on the far side of the sun.
The vastness of space remains largely unexplored at this point, and currently, more ambitious missions are being undertaken by NASA and private space agencies to explore these new frontiers. With this task in mind, missions such as STEREO prove very pivotal.