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Home » Camera Hack Reveals Hidden Secrets in the Sun Corona (Video)

Camera Hack Reveals Hidden Secrets in the Sun Corona (Video)

Camera Hack Reveals Hidden Secrets in the Sun's Atmosphere

Camera Hack Reveals Hidden Secrets in the Sun surrounding. A Scientist by chance has discovered a new method of using the EUI camera on Solar Orbiter to record a region of the Sun’s atmosphere at wavelengths that have previously been nearly impossible to image.

He said a last-minute “hack” to the camera allowed for this new possibility.  It is said in the Science community that this discovery will impact new solar equipment for next missions into space. As a result of the hack, high-resolution pictures of the structures in the Sun’s atmosphere known as the Corona, are produced by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) aboard Solar Orbiter.

A last-minute change to the safety door on the front of the instrument during manufacturing has allowed EUI to view farther into its target Corona region than was initially intended.


According to Frédéric Auchère, an employee of the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale at the Université Paris-Saclay and a member of the EUI team, “It was really a hack.” “I just thought I’d try it and see if it worked. The instrument modification is actually quite easy. The Camera hack required attaching a few-gram ‘thumb’ that protruded slightly from the instrument’s entrance. The thumb covers the Sun’s dazzling disc as the door slides out of the way to let light into the camera. And EUI can detect the million times fainter ultraviolet radiation emanating from the surrounding corona.

EUI occulter

Since 2021, tests with the EUI occulter have been ongoing. The team calls this the occulter mode of operation. And the crew is now confident in its operation’s success and has issued a paper and a video showcasing the outcomes. The Sun’s corona is visible in the movie as an ultraviolet image captured with the EUI occulter. The area where the occulter left off has an ultraviolet image of the Sun’s disc superimposed in the centre.

The features on the Sun’s surface have a good link to the features in the image because it was captured by NASA’s STEREO mission, which just so happened to be looking at the Sun from almost the same direction as the Solar Orbiter at the same time.

Use of Coronagraphs

Coronagraphs are specialized instruments that have been used in the past to capture photos of the Sun’s corona before this Camera Hack Reveals Hidden Secrets in the Sun surrounding. For instance, the coronagraph on the Solar Orbiter is known as Metis. This innovative method has the advantage of allowing the coronagraph and camera to be integrated into one device.

“We’ve shown that this works so well that you can now consider a new type of instrument, that can do both imaging of the Sun and the corona around it,” claims Daniel Müller, the Project Scientist for the Solar Orbiter at the ESA.

Camera Hack On Solar Orbiter Reveals Hidden Secrets in the Sun.

There will be a lot of new science from EUI, even without those new tools. Scientists can peer further into the Sun’s atmosphere thanks to the occulter mode. This is the area that conventional coronagraphs typically don’t see. Because it is outside the field of view of classical EUV imagers. However, the EUI’s occulter can now easily picture this uncharted territory.

The Teams Comment

We’ve never really taken a close look at it before but physics is changing there. Magnetic structures are changing there. According to David Berghmans, principal investigator for the EUI and director of the Royal Observatory of Belgium. “there must be some mysteries in there that we can now discover.


International partners ESA and NASA are working together on the Solar Orbiter space mission, which is being run by ESA.


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