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The photos are the first released from the Solar Orbiter, a joint mission between the European Space Agency and NASA.
The European Space Agency and NASA's Solar Orbiter have transmitted the closest pictures yet taken of the Sun, as part of an international collaboration to study our nearest star, launched on February 9, 2020.
The shots revealed a fiery hellscape of smaller solar flares, thought to be caused by interactions in the Sun's magnetic fields. It is believed that these 'campfires' could be part of the reason why the Sun's outer atmosphere, or 'corona,' is three hundred times hotter than its core.
Scientists involved in the mission said that while the first images from a spacecraft typically only serve to confirm that its instruments are working, these photographs reveal an unprecedented level of detail.
"These amazing images will help scientists piece together the Sun's atmospheric layers, which is important for understanding how it drives space weather near the Earth and throughout the solar system," said to the official NASA website Holly Gilbert, NASA's project scientist for the mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
During its approach, the spacecraft came within 77 million kilometers of the Sun, a little more than halfway between Earth and the star. Over the next two years, the spacecraft will orbit even closer, coming less than 42 million kilometers from the Sun's surface.