Scientists at the European Space Agency have stitched together images to create an artificial photo of what they believe the sun's poles look like. Because the camera can not directly observe the poles of the star.
Despite an abundance of missions sent into space to explore the Sun, we are still largely in the dark about its polar regions, as most of those focused on the equatorial part of the star, moving along the ecliptic plane. The image is a collection of many fragments, but I'll leave it to the ESA to explain how the images were captured: While the poles can not be seen directly, when spacecraft observe the solar atmosphere they gather data on everything along their line of sight, also viewing the atmosphere extending around the disc of the Sun (the apparent glow around the main disc of the Sun, which also extends over the poles). While the Proba-2 didn't directly observe the poles, scientists were able to extrapolate pieces of images that captured the sun's northern hemisphere. Yeah, it's a mouthful, but the end result is what the ESA suggests is a reasonably accurate glimpse at the Sun's north pole. However, NASA's solar probe would not leave the ecliptic plane, so the first and only image of the Sun's north pole would remain that provided now by ESA, at least for the time being. These poles can't be seen by us, but spacecraft can gather data on the atmosphere around the sun's glow. However, to properly study the poles, the researchers will have to wait for 2020 for solar orbit will be launched by the ESA.
Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science.