The solar orbiter launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) has captured stunning details that have never been seen before. A video posted by ESA on Twitter shows a gas geyser nicknamed “Solar Hedgehog” by scientists.
The ESA said the images were captured while approaching an orbiter in March, adding that it was close to one-third of the Sun-Earth distance.
A breathtaking view over # SunOccupied the South Pole on 30 March esasolorbiter. # Solar Orbiter Revealing the mystery of solar activity, Venus will use gravity to crank its orbital tendency for a more up-and-down view of the poles of our star https://t.co/pO6oQCLizg# Explorepic.twitter.com/CpDev8f24D
– ESA Science (asesascience) May 18, 2022
“A breathtaking view of the #Sun’s South Pole was captured by @esasolarorbiter on March 30. #SolarOrbiter will use Venus’s gravity to look up and down its orbital trends, to unravel the mystery of solar activity,” the agency tweeted.
According to the ESA, the Solar Orbiter’s closest approach to the Sun, known as the Perihelion, occurred on March 26. Its heat shield reached about 500 degrees Celsius, yet it worked as expected and secured the spacecraft during its historic first pass, the agency added.
During the passage of the solar orbiter also saw a view of the South Pole of the Sun – for the first time any telescope had a glimpse of this region. Scientists believe that the image of the sun’s south pole is important because it plays an important role in the generation of its magnetic field.
When it comes to perihelion, the closer the spacecraft gets to the sun, the more subtle the sensations seen by the telescope. The spacecraft absorbed several solar flames and even an earth-directed coronal mass ejection, giving scientists a taste of real-time space weather forecasting, which is becoming increasingly important due to space weather technology and risks for astronauts, the ESA said.
The Solar Orbiter is equipped with 10 science instruments, nine of which are operated by ESA member states and one by NASA, an American space agency, all working to provide unique insights into how our local star works.
Some remote sensing equipment looks at the sun, others an in-situ device that monitors the situation around the spacecraft, allowing scientists to make “point connections” between what they see in the sun and what the solar orbiter “feels”. Kilometers away.