Solar Orbiter photographed a coronal emission

Solar Orbiter is an unmanned solar exploration spacecraft developed by ESA with the participation of NASA. It is the first mission of the Cosmic Vision midrange program.

ESA and NASA have published a series of images and recordings made by the Solar Probe. These can be seen coronal mass ejection, which took place on the Sun on February 12, 2021.

Coronal emissions should not be confused with solar flares. Coronal pulses are ejections of large quantities of material from the stellar corona, while flares are sudden increases in the brightness of one part of the Sun due to the influence of magnetic fields. Flares are often accompanied by coronal ejections, but this is not always the case.

The peculiarity of the coronal outburst on February 12 is that it was detected by the instruments onboard the Solar Probe. At that moment, the probe had just passed its perihelion orbit and was on the other side of the star. This circumstance seriously slowed down the process of transmitting the collected information.

It should be noted that some of the tools Solar Orbiter is still under calibration and is not yet working at full capacity. In addition, next year, the device will have to perform several gravitational maneuvers that will move it to an orbit with an inclination of 17 ° and the perihelion, located at a distance of 0.28 AU (42 million km) from the center of our star. This means that, in the future, Solar Orbiter will be able to make much more detailed observations of coronal emissions and other manifestations of solar activity.

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