The Solar Orbiter observes the Sun because no one has seen it before!

The pictures are really amazing said David Berghmans, of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, and principal investigator of the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager which requires high resolutions on solar crown. In these terms the Press release of the European Space Agency (ESA) presenting the first results and data of the Solar Orbiter probe transmission as close as possible to Sun. Launched in February 2020the probe performed its first perihelion closure on March 26 at just 0.32 AUor approximately 48 million kilometers.

The pictures are really amazing

David Berghmans ’enthusiasm is understandable. During this passage, 10 instruments on board recorded unprecedented data and the probe captured spectacular views of the solar poles as well as a unique “hedgehog” that reaches more than 25,000 kilometers. and shows numerous peaks of hot gases and cold in all directions. After solar campfirethe Extreme Ultraviolet Imager team has come up with a shocking word for a solar phenomenon.

The whole challenge for the mission scientists was to cross-reference the data from the remote sensing instruments (right observation of the Sun’s activity) and the data from the instruments. in place analyzing the surroundings of the probe where the fluxes of solar particles come from. In other words, make the connection between what the probe sees and what the probe “feels”.

The mission of the Solar Orbiter is not yet complete so we can now say that the objectives of science will be fulfilled. If the survey is launched in 2020, the purpose is to better understandstar we live in, which provides an unprecedented understanding of how it works and how it affects the space around the Earth and beyond. Its main purpose is to better understand the connection between the Sun and theheliospherethis zone in the form of an elongated bubble formed solar wind, plasma of charged particles continuously emitted by the Sun. These scientific achievements are also technological achievements. Because getting so close to the Sun and looking at it directly is similar to an unprecedented technological gamble when designing the probe.

And there, too, the bet was won. By jumping only about 48 million kilometers from the Sun, the Solar Orbiter is exposed to temperatures of about 500 to 600 ° C! Well protected by the heat shield of the probe, all instruments are able to operate normally. This close perihelion on March 26 was a real success for the Solar Orbiter mission, testified Desi Raulin, Solar Orbiter project manager at Cnes: “ the French scientists were very pleased with the result because they were able to collect a lot of data. All instruments work perfectly. It is a real comfort that the space probe captures a lot of data through its instruments and has a high resolution quality. “.

Lay the foundation for a reliable and accurate system capable of predicting solar events

The Solar Orbiter also aims to contribute to making one real meteorology spatial. And here too the bet is won. By combining data from all probe instruments, scientists can understand how solar moves from the Sun’s surface to the Solar Orbiter and beyond. This knowledge is exactly what will pave the way for the future system to predict the weather situation in Earth’s space in real time. Coming to perihelion, the Solar Orbiter has even seen how such a system works!

On March 10, an ejection of mass coronal passed through the probe. his magnetometer aboard the ship it was predicted that it would hit the Earth a few hours later. Breaking news on social media kept sky-observers ready for aurora sightings, which occurred about 18 hours after the expected.

This experiment gives the Solar Orbiter an insight into real-time weather prediction on Earth’s space. Such an effort has become all the more important because of the threat posed by space technology, human activity in low orbit, and future lunar and Mars exploration missions.

Solar Orbiter confirmed Vigil’s interest. This European Space Agency mission will launch in the 2025 universe up to Lagrange point number 5. From this location, Vigil will be able to study all the severe and unpredictable events of the day even before they occur. . solar flare and “coronal mass ejections”, and before they hit.

So this perihelion is a huge success and has generated a lot of data. And as ESA points out, it’s just a taste of the future! In October, the probe will be even closer to the Sun, only 0.29 times the distance from Earth-Sun.

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