The images are from the Solar Orbiter spacecraft, which is being assisted by the European Space Agency (ESA) NASA Our star was sent into orbit in February 2020. The mission is unique in that it allows us to observe the Sun from a much closer distance and from a perspective impossible to reach from Earth.
At first the ship revolved around the sun in the plane of the ecliptic (that is, in the plane in which the Earth and other planets of the solar system move), but with successive maneuvers it deviates from it more and more. This allows researchers to observe the solar poles visible from Earth but at a very small angle.
The European Space Agency showed a remarkable solar prominence
Now scientists from the European Space Agency have boasted about the wonderful effects of the solar orbiter’s flight near our star. The probe was at the perihelion of its orbit (the point closest to the Sun) in March 2022, then collected material that we can now watch.
In the first movie, the probe’s research instruments were able to capture what’s called coronal rain, a distinct type of solar prominence (the shiny structures made up of plasma visible above the “surface” of the sun, its photosphere). Coronal rain occurs when hot plasma in our star’s strong magnetic field rises and cools Results that recedes toward the photosphere. True, this phenomenon has been known for a long time, but we have not been able to observe it on such detailed material until now.
In the video below, coronal rain appears as “streaks” of extremely hot, bright plasma descending toward the photosphere. This phenomenon was captured in one of the sun’s active regions, that is, places where the magnetic field creates characteristic “arcs” in the solar corona (the outer part of the sun’s atmosphere). You can see them perfectly in the video below.
As the European Space Agency explains on its website, the images show the sun as seen by the 17 . probe Walks R. At a distance of 0.378 astronomical units, which is about 56.5 million how much (About a third of the distance between the Earth and the Sun). The images were taken at a wavelength of 17 nm, that is, in the extreme (very far) ultraviolet (invisible to the human eye). For this reason, the sun was depicted in false colors (they were added artificially).
In a second video taken on March 30 (four days after the probe passed perihelion), researchers were able to capture the sun’s south pole in great detail. In the video we can see the “surface” (photosphere) of the star and its atmosphere along with the solar corona, although at first glance the images may relate to seeing clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere.
In the third video, scientists were able to monitor another phenomenon that they called “the solar hedgehog”. It is a small region (on a cosmic scale) from the Sun with a diameter of about 25 thousand. km, which is about twice the diameter of the Earth. The name comes from the “streams” of plasma lying on all sides, which researchers seem to associate with the hedgehog. It is still not known how this phenomenon arises.
Scientists believe, however, that the sun’s poles may have more secrets about them. Therefore, they have high hopes for the upcoming solar orbiter corridors, which should provide huge amounts the new search data. By the end of the mission in 2030, the probe is set to approach our star 14 again.
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