A spacecraft captures a massive burst on the sun’s surface. Solar Orbiter Probe was launched in February 2020 to study these lethal explosions called coronal mass ejection.
Such massive blasts on the constantly bubbling and bursting star hold the potential to send down billions of tons of plasma and electrically charged particles toward Earth.
The orbiter caught the video footage of the two CMEs while it was on the journey back from the hot zone to cooler zones of space. Three of the imaging instruments on the probe aided in capturing the massive explosions. CMEs were traced upon being launched from the sun’s surface and spreading into space.
Each instrument performed a different task, the first captured the sun, the second one captured the flow of energy through the sun’s corona, and the third caught the stream of electrically charged particles, dust, and cosmic rays which were caused as an impact of the eruption.
One of its impacts is astonishing to the human eye, as such explosions alter space weather, and that causes aurora lights on the skies of earth. Still, these explosions and the forthcoming impacts are as dangerous as beautiful as these lights seem to the human eye. These explosions cause potential danger to astronauts by interfering with their spacecraft or damaging communications to mission control.
This is the very reason that the solar probe was designated to study these explosions as closely as possible. Investigating the source could help scientists find out ways to protect the costly equipment and astronauts in space as well as to trace out ways to keep Earth away from these potential incidences.
“What we want to do with Solar Orbiter is to understand how our star creates and controls the constantly changing space environment throughout the Solar System,” Yannis Zouganelis, an ESA scientist working on the mission, said last year before the probe launched. “There are still basic mysteries about our star that remain unsolved.”
The video below contains PROBA-2’s view of the eruptions on the left side and SOHO’s imagery of the plasma shooting through space on the right.