February 6, 2011 should be a date marked in everyone’s calendars. Not only is it Superbowl Sunday (XLV) here in the United States, but it will also be the first time in history that we will be able to view the Sun in its entirety – all 360 degrees! This is because, on that day, NASA’s two STEREO spacecraft will be exactly 180 degrees apart allowing a full 360 degree view of our nearest star.
NASA will post a web press release about this historic event on February 6. In the meantime, you can track the separation angle between the two spacecraft over the coming weeks at “Where is STEREO?”, http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/where.shtml. The following image is an example of the image produced by the tool on the “Where is STEREO?” webpage.
Here is a teaser video from NASA for the upcoming occasion. We will present more information and data when it becomes available.