Solar Orbiter captures a panorama of the largest Solar prominence eruption ever recorded

2022-08-02 0 By

An image of the sun captured by Solar Orbiter recently shows the largest Solar Prominence eruption in history.A prominence is the result of intense activity in the sun’s magnetic field, which suspends dense solar plasma above the sun’s surface, sometimes in the form of an arched ring.They’re usually associated with coronal mass ejections, which can wreak havoc on our technology and everyday life if they hit Earth directly.The most recent prominence occurred on February 15, 2022, and covered millions of kilometers of space.Fortunately, this coronal mass ejection is not aimed at Earth and is moving away from us.The solar orbiter is currently approaching the Earth-sun line, and there is no sign of an eruption in the solar disk facing the spacecraft, meaning the prominence originated on the side of the Sun away from us.Solar Orbiter is a Solar probe jointly developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. It is NASA’s second mission to the inner Solar system in recent years, following the Parker Solar Probe.The probe will use the gravity of Venus and Earth to escape the ecliptic and provide the first images of the sun’s poles.The image was taken by the Full Solar Imager (FSI) of the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) on the space orbiter.The FSI was designed to view the entire solar disk, even during close proximity to the sun, such as during the passage of perihelion next month.At its closest approach on March 26, the spacecraft will pass within about 0.3 times the sun-Earth distance, with the sun occupying a greater part of the telescope’s field of view.Right now, there’s still plenty of “leeway” around the disk, allowing the FSI to capture amazing detail at a distance of about 3.5 million kilometers, or about five times the radius of the Sun.Other space telescopes, such as the ESA/NASA SOHO satellite, often see such solar activity, but either closer to the sun or farther away through occluding devices, blocking out the sun’s disk’s glare to achieve detailed images of the corona itself.So the bulge seen by the Solar orbiter is the largest event of its kind ever, and it was captured alongside the disk, opening up new possibilities to see an event like this linked to the disk for the first time.