NASA telescope to probe solar mystery

Updated: 2013-06-28 14:48


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NASA telescope to probe solar mystery

A contrail is seen of the central coast off Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, after a Orbital Pegasus rocket was launched, June 27, 2013. A small NASA telescope was launched into orbit on Thursday on a mission to determine how the sun heats its atmosphere to millions of degrees, sending off rivers of particles that define the boundaries of the solar system. The telescope was launched aboard an Orbital Sciences Corp Pegasus rocket at 10:27 pm EDT Thursday (0227 GMT Friday). Pegasus is an air-launched system that is carried aloft by a modified L-1011 aircraft that took off from Vandenberg AFB about 57 minutes before launch. The rocket was released from beneath the belly of the plane at an altitude of about 39,000 feet (11,900 meters) before it ignited to carry the telescope into orbit. [Photo/Agencies]