New Satellite Launched to Study Sun: PICARD

PICARD is an investigation dedicated to the simultaneous measurement of the absolute total and spectral solar irradiance, the diameter and solar shape, and to the Sun’s interior probing by the helioseismology method. These measurements obtained all along the mission will allow to study their variations as a function of the solar activity.


Its objectives are to improve our knowledge of:
the functioning of our star through new observations,
the influence of the solar activity on the climate of the Earth.


http://smsc.cnes.fr/PICARD/

There are already many satellites observing the Sun. Missions such as Cluster, Double Star, Soho and Stereo are investigating the solar wind, solar flares and radiation, magnetic field, as well as the Sun’s structure and composition. In a context of considerable change to the Earth’s climate, Picard will soon be joining the team to help scientists explain the links between solar cycles and the changes of temperatures on Earth.

Picard is a microsatellite that will send back data needed to improve models used for forecasting solar activity. It was designed to take simultaneous measurements of such parameters as the speed at which the Sun rotates, the radiation it emits, the presence of Sunspots and its shape and diameter, to help scientists understand the relationship between them. These models also help to evaluate the influence of the Sun on changes in temperatures on Earth and the extent to which it contributes to global warming.

To predict how the Sun may influence the Earth in the future, scientists need to study the past and Picard will be helping here, too, by investigating the relationship between changes in solar activity and certain climate events here on Earth. Why did mean temperatures drop during the 17th Century, known as the Maunder minimum (1645-1715)? Did a ‘slow-down’ on the Sun cause cooling on Earth? Very few clues remain about this period and the only scientific evidence is a series of measurements of the solar diameter by the French astronomer, Jean Picard, after whom the satellite has been named.

It is important to establish to what extent this parameter correlates with solar activity. The Picard satellite will help solve this question by providing data for models able to reconstruct the climate of this period and comparing simulations with actual observations.

Launch of Picard and Prisma on 15 June 2010
http://news.eoportal.org/eomissions/100608_eom1.html

There are already many satellites observing the Sun. Missions such as Cluster, Double Star, Soho and Stereo are investigating the solar wind, solar flares and radiation, magnetic field, as well as the Sun’s structure and composition. In a context of considerable change to the Earth’s climate, Picard will soon be joining the team to help scientists explain the links between solar cycles and the changes of temperatures on Earth.

Picard is a microsatellite that will send back data needed to improve models used for forecasting solar activity. It was designed to take simultaneous measurements of such parameters as the speed at which the Sun rotates, the radiation it emits, the presence of Sunspots and its shape and diameter, to help scientists understand the relationship between them. These models also help to evaluate the influence of the Sun on changes in temperatures on Earth and the extent to which it contributes to global warming.

To predict how the Sun may influence the Earth in the future, scientists need to study the past and Picard will be helping here, too, by investigating the relationship between changes in solar activity and certain climate events here on Earth. Why did mean temperatures drop during the 17th Century, known as the Maunder minimum (1645-1715)? Did a ‘slow-down’ on the Sun cause cooling on Earth? Very few clues remain about this period and the only scientific evidence is a series of measurements of the solar diameter by the French astronomer, Jean Picard, after whom the satellite has been named.

It is important to establish to what extent this parameter correlates with solar activity. The Picard satellite will help solve this question by providing data for models able to reconstruct the climate of this period and comparing simulations with actual observations.

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