On October 25, 2006—ten years ago—NASA strapped two satellites onto a Delta II rocket and sent them skyward with an important mission—to figure out what our Sun is all about.
Given that it’s the brightest object in our solar system and the big ball of fire that keeps us alive, you’d think humans would know all kinds of stuff about or friend, Sol. But, of course, for most of human history we’ve been staring at the Sun from one vantage point, and that’s the soil beneath our feet. For the past decade, though, two satellites named STEREO-A and STEREO-B, part of the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory mission, have been traveling ahead and behind Earth’s orbit to get a more complete picture of our sun than ever before.
The results have been stunning. Here’s a brief history of STEREO and its many, many accomplishments.