Exploring the Solar System

Exploring the Sun

Have any space probes ever been sent to the Sun?

Since the Sun is so bright from our vantage point here on Earth, most of the spacecraft that have been used to study the Sun have been launched only into Earth’s orbit. Some of the best-known examples of such spacecraft include the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM), the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and the Transition Region and Coronal Experiment (TRACE). Some spacecraft, however, have indeed been launched into special orbits around the Sun to study the Sun in ways not possible from Earth. These include the Helios and Ulysses space probes.


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