China expected to launch its solar probe in 2022: Report

TEHRAN, Jan. 24 (MNA) – China is scheduled to launch its first solar probe in the first half of 2022, making forays into sun exploration, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on Friday.

The probe, named Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), will orbit on the sun-synchronous orbit 720 kilometers above the Earth for at least four years, said researchers, South China Morning Post reported.

Carrying a solar telescope, a magnetic imager and an X-ray imager, ASO-S will observe solar activities and stormy atmosphere on the star on a 24-hour basis, according to Gan Weiqun, chief scientist of the ASO-S program at CAS' Purple Mountain Observatory.

The probe will monitor solar storms at least one to three days ahead of their arrival, which is expected to facilitate early warnings of damage to the Earth's electromagnetic environment, Gan said.

"This will also allow the probe to carry out more scientific tasks," he added.

Every 11 years or so, the sun's magnetic field goes through a cycle, known as the Solar Cycle, during which the sun's north poles and south poles would switch places and a series of solar storms would erupt.

With the last Solar Cycle occurring in late October 2003, the star is soon to enter its next one. It is estimated to reach its peak radiation around 2025, said Gan, saying the ASO-S may be able to obtain detailed records of solar activities during its rise to the peak years.

The prototype performances have been tested, including environmental and heat experiments, according to news published on the CAS website on January 13.

The final product is expected to be finished by the end of the year, it added.

MA/PR

News Code 168942

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