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August 10, 2009

SUNRISE Telescope Launch

The SUNRISE telescope in its gondola hangs suspended from a crane-like launch vehicle as it prepares to take a test flight into space. The balloon-borne, lightweight, 1-meter solar telescope was launched into the stratosphere in October 2007, as part of the SUNRISE project, an international research collaboration to study the structure and dynamics of the solar magnetic field. This test flight prepared the way for long-duration polar flights that began in 2009.

The international collaboration includes scientists and engineers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and colleagues in Germany and Spain. Funding for the gondola and telescope pointing system design was provided by the National Science Foundation and a grant from NASA. To learn more, visit the SUNRISE project website Here.

Credit: ©University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; photo by Carlye Calvin

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