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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Intrepid Solar Spacecraft Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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- Making the sun transparent by creating images of the sun's far side,including stormy regions there that will turn with the sun and threaten theEarth.

- Discovering a mechanism that releases more than enough energy to heatthe sun's atmosphere (corona) to 100 times its surface temperature.

- Discovering that a series of eruptions of ionized gas (coronal massejections) from the sun blasts a "highway" through space where solar energeticparticles flow. These particles disrupt satellites and are hazardous toastronauts outside the protection of Earth's magnetic field.

- Monitoring the sun's energy output (the "total solar irradiance" or"solar constant") as well as variations in the sun's extreme ultravioletradiation, both of which are important to understand the impact of solarvariability on Earth's climate.

- Identifying the source regions and acceleration mechanisms of the solarwind, a thin stream of ionized gas that constantly flows from the sun andbuffets Earth's magnetosphere.


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