Metis: the multi-wavelength coronagraph for the Solar Orbiter mission

Metis is the coronagraph of the scientific payload of Solar Orbiter, the first mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) program Cosmic Vision 2015-2025. Solar Orbiter has been conceived to explore for the first time the poles of the Sun and the circumsolar region.

The Metis experiment is an international collaboration led by the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), involving several Universities in Italy and research institutes in the world.

The innovative instrument design has been conceived for simultaneously imaging the visible and ultraviolet emission of the Sun's corona. Observations obtained with Metis will enable us to diagnose, with unprecedented temporal coverage and spatial resolution, the structures and dynamics of the full corona.

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Metis science objectives

Involved institutes

Solar Orbiter: exploring the Sun

ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission is conceived to perform a close-up study of our Sun and inner heliosphere – the uncharted innermost regions of our Solar System – to better understand, and even predict, the unruly behaviour of the star on which our lives depend. The spacecraft has been successfully launched on February 10th, 2020.

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Mission timeline

Nov 2016 Dec 2016 Apr 2017 26 Apr 2017 Jul 2017 Dec 2018 1 Aug 2019 31 Oct 2019 10 Feb 2020 Metis integration First calibration campaign Second calibration campaign Metis delivery to ESA Metis integration on the S/C Environmental test campaign Cap ejection test Transportation to launch site Launch
Feb 2020 13 Mar 2020 Jun 2020 Nov 2021 Jan 2026 Sep 2030 Commissioning Metis first light Start of Cruise Phase Start of Nominal Phase Start of Extendend Phase Mission end