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Sun gets close-up in historic new NASA pictures


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NASA has released the closest-ever pictures of the sun, which were captured by the agency's Solar Orbiter.

A joint mission with the European Space Agency, the Solar Orbiter was launched on Feb. 9, 2020. The probe completed its first close pass of the star in mid-June and was flying within 48 million miles of the sun when it captured the closest-ever pictures.

“These unprecedented pictures of the Sun are the closest we have ever obtained,” said Holly Gilbert, NASA project scientist for the mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in a statement. “These amazing images will help scientists piece together the Sun’s atmospheric layers, which is important for understanding how it drives space weather near the Earth and throughout the solar system.”:snip:

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