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 On Things to Come Webinar


Solar Orbiter mission pt. 3 
The Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager (SO/PHI)

Speaker: Sami Solanki (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research)
Tuesday, 25 May 2021 
4 pm GMT+8

Watch it live on Bilibili here!

Credit: ESA


The ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter mission, launched in February 2020, will explore the Sun and heliosphere from close up and from out of the ecliptic plane. It aims to address the overarching questions of how the Sun creates and controls the heliosphere, and why solar activity changes with time. Among the instruments that Solar Orbiter carries is the Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager (SO/PHI), which is the first magnetograph to leave the Sun-Earth line and to observe the Sun from different directions. Solar Orbiter is still in its cruise phase and SO/PHI is still undergoing various tests, improving its calibration procedures, etc. Nonetheless, already a few glimpses of SO/PHI’s capabilities have become apparent, including the excellent quality of the data. The promise for the science that can be done with SO/PHI data in the future is immense, both with standalone observations by SO/PHI and with SO/PHI data combined with observations made by other Solar Orbiter instruments, or with data gathered by instruments on other spacecraft or on the ground.  The talk will give a brief description of the Solar Orbiter mission, introduce the SO/PHI instrument, show first data and describe the science goals for the different phases of the Solar Orbiter mission. The SO/PHI data policy will also be briefly introduced.

About Sami Solanki

Sami K. Solanki is a solar physicist and Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. He did his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland. He was endowed with Honorary Professorships by the ETH and the Technical University of Braunschweig, as well as receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oulu, Finland. He has published over 500 refereed scientific papers, with over 35000 citations and a Hirsh-index of 96 (according to Google Scholar).  He is founder and Spokesperson of the International Max Planck Research School on Solar System Science, with over 200 successful graduates (the majority of which are still in science, including many who now are professors at various universities in China). He also founded and is Editor-in-Chief of the refereed electronic journal “Living Reviews in Solar Physics”, with an impact factor of 20. He leads the SUNRISE Mission of the German Space Agency, DLR, NASA and the Spanish Space Agency, and is the principle investigator of the SO/PHI instrument on the Solar Orbiter space mission, as well as being Co-I of a number of further space instruments.

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