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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

ESA Solar Probe hit by solar flare ahead of Solar Orbiter Venus fly-by

Just before Solar Orbiter once again gained momentum on Venus on Sunday, the ESA probe was hit by a massive solar flare. The European Space Agency announced this. However, since the probe is designed not only to survive such violent explosions of our star, but also to collect data on them, there were no negative consequences. The third flyby, now 6000 km from the second planet in the Solar System, went “exactly according to plan” and the probe will now come 4.5 million km closer to the Sun than before.


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Soho Captures Coronal Mass Ejection Blasting From The Sun S Far Side In The Direction Of Venus Ca891042580C92Bd

Solar brightness recorded by SOHO Solar Observatory

(Image: ESA/NASA SOHO)

The Sun’s immense coronal mass ejection (CME) therefore occurred on August 30, the explosion ejected directly in the direction of Venus, the ESA explains. The data collected by the probe would have clarified how its atmosphere had changed as a result. However, some instruments were turned off to protect against sunlight reflecting off Venus’s atmosphere.

The burst seen in late August will see protons, electrons, and ionized helium atoms from around the Sun moving into relativistic motion. It is precisely these that create radiation risks to astronauts and spacecraft. Understanding this better is one of Solar Orbiter’s tasks, which should help us better protect us from such violent explosions.

The ESA probe is believed to find the Sun from short distances and has to move closer and closer to it in several orbits. At the same time, he must be distracted as much as possible to aim his pole at the end. But she flies over Venus several times. It passed Earth for the last time last November, coming within a radius of about 460 km of its home planet.

The probe will study our Sun for ten years, taking high-resolution images and collecting data. Intelsat recently had to find out what currently threatens increasing solar activity, which Solar Orbiter should research. Following the solar storm, the satellite operator lost control of one of its satellites and eventually had to abandon it.


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