Friday 2 December 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook Solar Max Missions Ends

Solar Max Mission Ends

The Solar Maximum Mission ended on December 2, 1989, launched on February 14 1980 the Solar Max mission was designed to study solar flares.

Due to problems with the on board systems the probe had to be repaired and it became the first probe to be repaired while in orbit around the Earth when the shuttle Challenger in 1984.

The major discovery of the mission was that the Sun was actually brighter when the Sun is at sun spot maximum.  This is because sunspots are surrounded by bright features called faculae, which more than cancel the darkening effect of the sunspot.

Over a period of time the drag from the Earth`s atmosphere caused the spacecraft to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. Re-entry occurred at 10:26 UT on 2 December 1989 over the Indian Ocean.

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