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Solar Orbiter Captures New Before Seen Footage of the Sun

The new videos that were captured by the ESA and NASA’s Solar Orbiter show the Sun in a brand-new light. The said videos were captured during the probe’s first close perihelion passages.

This is the first time that the space probe will zoom in on the Sun’s details.

New Solar Orbiter Videos Go Viral

During the first pass, the Solar Orbiter approached the Sun within Mercury’s orbit, making it one-third of the distance between the Sun and the Earth, according to BGR.

At that point, the Orbiter’s heatshield would have been reaching almost 500 degrees Celsius, according to the ESA. 

The result of this move is several stunning Solar Orbiter videos that give the public a view of the Sun unlike anything captured before.

You can see the videos on NASA’s official YouTube channel, as the Solar Orbiter zooms in on the Sun’s surface. In the process, it captured several solar flames, as well as an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection.

Also Read: NASA, European Space Agency Launch Solar Orbiter to Take Better Photos of the Sun

One of the most fascinating discoveries made in these new Solar Orbiter videos is the solar hedgehog. The feature stretches around 25,000 kilometers across the Sun.

It has a lot of spikes of hot and cold gas that reach out in several directions. It is a spectacular sight and one that the ESA hopes to be able to study more in-depth in the future.

The ESA Mission

However, the Solar Orbiter is not just here to capture the amazing videos for the public to marvel at. The ESA and NASA are working together to study the Sun.

The two space agencies hope that this will allow the public to better determine more about space weather, according to My Droll. 

Space weather has become a massive concern in the past few years. Especially with the Sun gearing up for the most active part of its current solar cycle.

As such, the Solar Orbiter, and the videos it captures, will hopefully give the public some insight into solar weather before it strikes.

The solar flares and the coronal mass ejections can wreak havoc on Earth’s magnetic field and it can cause blackouts for satellites and other spacecrafts.

With a spacecraft like the Solar Orbiter, it is possible that the public could get something going for real-time space weather forecasting.

Of course, that is just one of the parts of the entire mission. The Solar Orbiter is also geared up to help the people learn more about the Sun in general.

While these might be some of the first Solar Orbiter videos that we are seeing, they are a very stark reminder of just how massive and powerful the Sun is.

With a bit of luck, the Solar Orbiter and other space probes like the Parker Solar Probe will open new doors to understanding the star that Earth orbits.

In January, the Solar Orbiter had a close encounter with the comet Leonard.

What is the Solar Orbiter

The Solar Orbiter is the most complex scientific laboratory ever to have been sent to capture the Sun. Even though the massive star has been an object of scientific interest for years, its behavior still presents a puzzle for scientists.

Solar Orbiter will take pictures of the Sun from closer proximity. By combining the observations from Solar Orbiter’s six remote-sensing instruments and four situ instruments, scientists hope to find answers to some questions.

Related Article: ESA’s Solar Orbiter Makes Successful First Close Pass of the Sun

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Written by Sophie Webster

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