In news- NASA and European Space Agency’s Solar orbiter has captured the first solar eruption.
- The Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) was captured by NASA instrument, the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI) onboard the spacecraft.
- SoloHI watches the solar wind, dust, and cosmic rays that fill the space between the Sun and the planets.
- Two more imagers on Solar Orbiter – ESA’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager and Metis, also captured views of the CME.
- NASA’s STEREO-A spacecraft also caught a glimpse from its COR2 detector.
About Solar orbiter-
- The Solar Orbiter (SolO) is a Sun-observing satellite, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA).
- It is intended to perform detailed measurements of the inner heliosphere and nascent solar wind, and perform close observations of the polar regions of the Sun.
- Solar Orbiter will be able to observe the magnetic activity building up in the atmosphere that can lead to powerful solar flares or eruptions.
- It was launched on 10 February 2020 and the mission is planned to last 7 years.
- The total mission cost is US$1.5 billion, with both ESA and NASA contributions.
- The science payload is composed of 10 instruments.
- The spacecraft has already taken the closest picture of the Sun to date.
Researchers will also have the chance to coordinate observations with NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission (2018-2025) which is performing measurements of the Sun’s extended corona.