Historic! Closest photo of the sun ever taken; Solar Orbiter sees solar flares, ‘hedgehog’, more

The ESA shared the photo of the sun, taken from the closest point ever. Solar Orbiter also photographed solar flares, a solar urchin and coronal mass ejection!

The sun has always been that gigantic spherical light source for us. Now the European Space Agency has shared a photo of the sun, taken from the closest point ever! On March 26, 2022, the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter took a picture of the sun’s closest approach. The process was not easy! The Solar Orbiter was located within Mercury’s orbit, about a third of the distance from the Sun to Earth. The heat was about 500°C and protected the spacecraft, but innovative technology helped dissipate the energy and keep the Orbiter safe and functioning. And the result paid off! The Solar Orbiter also photographed solar flares, solar poles and coronal mass ejection!

“Powerful flares, breathtaking views of the solar poles and a curious ‘hedgehog’ of the sun are among the series of spectacular images, movies and data that Solar Orbiter has sent back from its first close approach to the sun,” the ESA said in a report. by. During its close approach to the sun, the Solar Probe witnessed solar flares and even a coronal mass ejection aimed at Earth. It provides a sense of real-time space weather forecasting.

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Never before seen details of the sun

Not only the spectacular view of the sun, but the orbiter also managed to capture a mysterious phenomenon at the solar pole. Scientists called it a “hedgehog.” But at the moment no one knows exactly what it is or how it was formed. Amazingly, the mysterious phenomenon is twice the diameter of the Earth. The study will also pave the way for the 11-year solar cycle and solar activity during the solar cycle. By a rare chance, the spacecraft was struck by a Coronal Mass Ejection on March 10. This provided a unique opportunity to observe the conditions of the solar wind and solar flares.

Well, the Solar Orbiter is preparing for and getting closer than ever to its destination. “We are so excited about the quality of the data from our first perihelion,” Daniel Müller, ESA project scientist for Solar Orbiter, said in the ESA report. “It’s hard to believe that this is just the beginning of the mission. We’re going to be really busy.”

Arun Agarwal
I am Arun Agarwal, a passionate blogger and gamer. I love to share my thoughts on games and technology through blog posts. I’m also an avid reader of books about history, philosophy, science-fiction, and other genres as well as an anime fan. I like reading books that give me new perspectives or help me think differently about the world around us.