Meet the newest Solar Probe: ASO-S

Meet the newest Solar Probe: ASO-S

Parker Solar Probe (NASA), Solar Orbiter (ESA) are joined by ASO-S (China). The Spacecraft is nicknamed Kuafu-1, after a giant who chased the sun in Chinese mythology.

On October 9., 2022 China successfully launched a Long March 2D rocket. The Payload was the Advanced Space-borne Solar Orbiter, a solar observatory has four major goals

  1. Simultaneous observations of solar flares and CMEs (Note JS: Coronal Mass Ejections), two dominating eruptive events that regulate the space weather, to understand their connections and formation mechanisms.
  2. Observation of the full-disc vector magnetic field to uncover the build up of magnetic energy and its eruptive release during flares and CMEs and to see how the evolution of flares and CMEs are affected by the magnetic field.
  3. Observation of different layers of the solar atmosphere in response to eruptions to uncover the conversion and transport of different forms of energies.
  4. Expanding Application Target:Observation of solar eruptions and the magnetic field evolution to facilitate forecasting of the space weather and to safeguard valuable assets in space.


In contrast to the other solar probes mentioned in the subtitle, Kuafu-1 will stay close to earth in a sun synchronous orbit. From this stable sun facing orbit at around 720km above the earth it will do its observations using three different instruments.

  1. Full-disc vector Magnetograph (FMG)
    Which will measure the magnetic fields of the photosphere of the entire solar disk which faces the instrument.
  2. Hard X-ray Imager (HXI)
    Which is designed for solar flare observations and there energy output in keV (Note JS: kilo electron Volt — measurement of kinetic energy per electron)
  3. Lyman-alpha Solar Telescope (LST)
    To observer the Lyman-alpha waveband

The build of the observation satellite was focused on the possibility to do several observations at the same time.

The mission is planned for 4 years.

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