Sunrise – a solar observatory in the stratosphere
Research report (imported) 2009 - Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
The biggest telescope that ever left the surface of the Earth took off in June 2009 from the European space base ESRANGE near Kiruna (Northern Sweden). Lifted by a helium-filled balloon of 130 meter diameter, the 2.6 ton observatory drifted at a height of 37 km to northern Canada. During the nearly 6 day long flight in the stratosphere, the Sun was observed without interruption, tens of thousands highly resolved images in the ultraviolet light were taken, and the magnetic field at the solar surface was measured with unprecedented precision.