Solar on Columbus

Solar on Columbus

Released

19/12/2017 1:42 pm

Copyright

ESA/NASA

Description

ESA's Solar facility on the International Space Station (foreground with black cover). 

For almost a decade, Solar tracked the Sun to measure our star’s energy. The teams behind the facility, the Belgian BIRA-IASB institute and France’s Latmos, improved the accuracy of the reference data across the Sun’s spectrum down to 1.26% and, more importantly, an estimation of how accurate this variation is – meaning the team not only knows how much energy per square metre is emitted per wavelength, but also the margin of error. This number might seem insignificant, but the more accurate it is, the better researchers can understand how our climate has changed and is changing. 

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