ASTRONOMERS has shared an unprecedented image of a giant eruption on the sun.
Images taken by the Solar Orbiter spacecraft show superfast matter erupting from the Sun’s surface on February 15.
According to the European Space Agency (ESA), it is the largest “solar prominence” ever observed with the full solar disk in a single image.
The Sun’s hallmarks are the large structures of tangled magnetic field lines that keep dense concentrations of solar plasma suspended above the Sun’s surface, sometimes in the form of arcs, says ESA. ,” said ESA.
“They are often associated with high-mass launches on the earth’s surface that, if directed towards Earth, can wreak havoc on our technology and our daily lives.”
On February 15, our star fired two giant outbursts from its far side during a month of solar intense activity.
Fortunately, the plume of gas and particles spewed out from the far side of the Sun and thus missed our planet.
According to the ESA, it has extended millions of kilometers into space.
Solar Orbiter – a Sun observation satellite developed by ESA and Nasa – captured the explosion with its Ultraviolet Imager instrument.
Several space telescopes, including Nasa’s STEREO-A spacecraft, have recorded a surface mass ejection (CME).
CMEs are giant eruptions that send plasma through space – and the Sun has experienced several eruptions throughout the month.
If they hit Earth, the plumes could trigger geomagnetic storms that knock down satellites and disrupt power grids.
Based on its size, it’s possible the eruption was a Class X flare: The strongest possible type.
“Other space telescopes … regularly see solar activity like this, but either closer to the Sun, or further away thanks to a mysterious phenomenon, blocking the glare of the Sun’s disk. to allow detailed images of the corona itself,” the ESA said.
“Thus, the prominence observed by the Solar Orbiter is the largest-ever event of its kind recorded in a single field of view alongside the solar disk.”
It added that the imaging “opens up new possibilities to see for the first time that events like this connect to the solar disk.”
It’s been a busy month of solar activity. According to astronomer Dr Tony Phillips, who runs the website spaceweather.com, the Sun erupts every day in February. Some days have seen many rays of the sun.
Three of them have been classified as the second most powerful flares, class M flares. January saw five class M flares.
One such flare led to a solar storm on January 29 that knocked out 40 SpaceX satellites Temporarily stop working.
The remainder of February’s flares fell into the lighter Class C category.
While it may sound scary, it’s all part of the normal workings of our Sun – so you don’t need to panic.
Astronomers closely monitor the Sun’s activity to ensure that there is plenty of warning before any potential geomagnetic storms hit.
What is a geomagnetic storm?
Geomagnetic storms, caused by the CME, are ejections of hot matter called plasma from the Sun’s outer layer.
They could lead to the appearance of colorful auroras by energizing particles in our planet’s atmosphere.
Each solar storm is graded by severity on a scale of one to five, with G1 described as “minor” and G5 as “extreme”.
At the upper end of the scale, storms wreak havoc on our planet’s magnetic field, which can disrupt electricity and communications networks.
“Hazardous radiation from a fire cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to affect humans on the ground,” Nasa said.
“However – when intense enough – they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.”
When do major geomagnetic storms make landfall?
In the past, larger solar flares have wreaked havoc on our planet.
In 1989, a powerful solar eruption sent so many charged particles to Earth that the Canadian province of Quebec lost power for nine hours.
In addition to causing problems with our technology, they can harm astronauts working on the International Space Station, through exposure to radiation or by interfering with control communications. mission control.
The Earth’s magnetic field helps protect us from the harsher consequences of the Sun’s sparks.
The weaker rays of the sun’s rays – which are much more common – are responsible for auroras such as the Northern Lights.
Those natural light displays are examples of Earth’s magnetosphere being bombarded by the solar wind, creating bright green and blue displays.
The Sun is currently entering a new 11-year solar cycle, which often sees more intense and extreme eruptions and flares.
These events are expected to peak around 2025, and it is expected that the Solar Orbiter will observe all of them as it heads towards its goal of flying within 26 million miles of the sun.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8399953/largest-eruption-caught-camera-nasa/ Largest solar eruption EVER captured on camera revealed in stunning Nasa image