The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft has provided images of the largest solar explosion ever recorded in a single shot, along with the entire star’s disk. In addition to the great view, this means the opportunity to conduct important research.
While it is not visible to the naked eye, our star today has a violent and unpredictable nature. Another proof of how much the Sun can surprise us was sent by the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter.
It captured a massive coronal mass ejection, it’s a cloud of plasma being ejected into interplanetary space.
If a powerful explosion of this kind reaches Earth, it could damage electrical networks, disrupt radio communications, and put satellites and astronauts at risk.
Fortunately, this time the explosion, which extended for millions of kilometers, was not directed towards the Earth.
The probe instrument – Full Sun Imager (FSI) monitors the entire disk of the Sun, and the probe that is currently approaching it in March will be only 0.3 of the distance from the Sun and Earth.
Other space probes also monitor these types of events (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUHnZQsr3t8&t=2s), but Solar Orbiter has shown for the first time such a big bang captured in a single image with an entire star.
This presents a special opportunity for research – for the first time, scientists have been able, for example, to find out how such outbursts are related to star activity.
Other probes were also sent to monitor the event – NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and the European-American SOHO (Solar and Heliosphere Observatory).
Scientists are also waiting to send the Vigil probe, designed specifically to monitor solar weather, into space (PAP).
Author: Marek Mataks
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