The Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE): Exploring the Sun

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But now at last the sacred influence
of light appears, and from the walls of heav'n
Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night
a glimmering dawn....

John Milton


TRACE Spacecraft

TRACE Spacecraft (courtesy Lockheed Martin)


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The TRACE Mission

Basic Information:

TRACE was launched on a Pegasus launch vehicle in April 1998 to allow joint observations with SOHO during the rising phase of the solar cycle to sunspot maximum.

This first US solar research satellite since the Solar Maximum Mission complements the SOHO observatory and is designed to study the connections between fine-scale magnetic fields and the associated plasma structures. Observations are taken of the photosphere, the transition region and the corona with high spatial resolution and uninterrupted viewing of the Sun for up to eight months.

TRACE produces the high spatial and temporal resolution images while SOHO yeilds images and spectral data out to 30 solar radii at much lower resolution.

Typical pictures obtained by TRACE are shown below.
Click on pictures for larger image

TRACE solar flare image, Oct 2001  - click for enlargement- size=25K ------- TRACE solar flare image, Nov 1999  - click for enlargement- size=25K ------- TRACE solar flare image, Mar 2001 - click for enlargement- size=48K ------- TRACE solar flare image, Mar 2001 - click for enlargement- size=25K

------- TRACE solar flare image, Nov 2000 - click for enlargement- size=49K ------- TRACE solar flare image, Mar 2001 - click for enlargement- size=30K ------- TRACE solar flare image, Sept 2000 - click for enlargement- size=32K

TRACE is a mission of the Stanford-Lockheed Institute for Space Research (a joint programme of the Lockheed-Martin Advanced Technology Center's Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory and Stanford's Solar Observation Group.

The Lockheed Martin TRACE sites below have a wide selection of images, movies and data freely available.

Links to more Comprehensive Information:


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