Solar Physics

Welcome to the website for the MSSL Solar Physics Group!

Ever since its formation, Mullard Space Science Laboratory has had a strong focus on Solar Physics. In fact, the scientists and engineers who first moved to Holmbury House played a key role in developing and building Ariel-1, the first international satellite, which had an instrument designed to measure X-ray and EUV radiation and study its effect on the ionosphere. Since then, the group has been heavily involved with multiple solar missions, including the Orbiting Solar Observatories (OSO-4,5,6), Spacelab-2, SMM and more.

More recently, the solar group at MSSL have been heavily involved with the Hinode mission. We are the Principal Investigating institute for the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) onboard Hinode (see the Hinode/EIS website for more information). Launched in September 2006, Hinode has a suite of instruments on board designed to study the interaction between the Sun's magnetic field and its corona to increase our understanding of the causes of solar variability. 

We are also currently working on the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) for the forthcoming Solar Orbiter mission. An ESA-led mission, Solar Orbiter will provide the first close-up, high latitude observations of the Sun, revealing new insights into the Sun's magnetic field and the solar wind.