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Last Updated: Thursday October 26 2006 06:16 GMT

Get ready to see the Sun in 3D

An artist's image of a Stereo satellite

Scientists hope to get their best ever look at the Sun after two satellites were launched that will film it in 3D.

The mission is called Stereo and it could help us understand more about how the Sun can cause problems for electrical equipment on Earth.

Sometimes the Sun erupts - a bit like a volcano - and throws massive amounts of really hot material into space.

That material causes space storms which can mess up things like power supplies and phone signals here on Earth.

The storms move really quickly - as quickly as a million miles in an hour - and travel huge distances into space.

An eruption from the sun
The satellites have been built to investigate massive eruptions from the sun

The storms - officially called coronal mass ejections (CME) - can cause problems for anything in their way, especially things in space like shuttles and satellites.

Nasa hopes that the Stereo satellites will help it predict when these eruptions are going to happen, making it easier to plan future space missions.

The two satellites are almost identical and blasted off into space on Thursday. One will move round the sun slightly before the other, to create the 3D image.

Orbit of Stereo spacecraft (Nasa)
The spacecraft launched on a route that goes past the Moon
When they move past the moon the spacecraft will move apart
One will lead the Earth in its orbit, the other will travel a little way behind
Over the course of their mission, the satellites will continue to move apart
Their different views will be combined to make 3D movies of the sun