IRIS Mission

An image from the NASA / JAXA Hinode mission showing the lower atmosphere of the Sun the focus for the IRIS spacecraft.Credit: NASA&JAXA/Hinode

An image from the NASA / JAXA Hinode mission showing the lower atmosphere of the Sun the focus for the IRIS spacecraft.Credit: NASA&JAXA/Hinode

There is a so-called interface layer in the Sun’s atmosphere between the photoshphere and corona that is very difficult to study. Mostly this is due to the lack of tools and that is about to change with the The Interface Region Imaging Spectorgraph mission – IRIS.

The mission is going to trace the flow of energy and plasma through the chromoshpere and the transition region into the corona. We do know a fair amount about parts of the Sun’s atmosphere and lack knowlege in others. This interface region is such an area.

IRIS has the capability, along with the latest in 3D modeling to answer some fundamental questions and give insight into the understanding of energy transport into the corona and solar winds and perhaps give us enough knowledge to serve as a prototype for all stars.

The Interface Region Imaging Spectorgraph mission is set to launch on June 26, 2013 from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.

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