NASA claims some maintenance/repairs need to be done to bring back our Stereo view of Sol. (Ed) Apparently the “ahead” craft isn’t communicating with the “behind” craft, they say.
Do we buy that? If it were from any other source than “Never A Straight Answer”, I might. The timing seems awfully convenient, however, based on our knowledge of the space war going on, doesn’t it? ~ BP
Stereo Behind March 19, 2015
Important notice about reduced STEREO science operations
Latest SECCHI beacon imagesShown here are the latest SECCHI beacon images. The STEREO space weather beacon telemetry mode is a very low rate, highly compressed data stream broadcast by the spacecraft 24 hours per day. These data are used for space weather forecasting. Because of the large compression factors used, these beacon images are of much lower quality than the actual science data.
Update, 20 March 2015: The IMPACT, PLASTIC, and SECCHI instruments on Ahead have now been turned off for superior solar conjunction. This latest images service is therefore suspended until the instruments are turned back on again in July 2015 (or sooner if communication is restored with the Behind spacecraft). Earlier images are available through the daily browse pages.
However, for several days before instrument turn-off, the effects of radio scintillation from the much denser solar corona that the signal from STEREO Ahead had to pass through significantly affected the quality of the SECCHI images, starting around 14 March 2015. Very few of the SECCHI images from that period made it through the automated processing software that generates the web pages.
Thanks to: http://starshipearththebigpicture.com