Solar Orbiter to Perform Risky Flyby Before Heading to Sun | Digital Trends

Solar Orbiter to Perform Risky Flyby Before Heading to Sun | Digital Trends

The European Space Agencys Solar Orbiter is on an objective to study the sun, but to arrive it needs to carry out a series of flybys of other planets consisting of Earth. Today, the Orbiter will perform its riskiest flyby, dipping through the smattering of area particles that surrounds Earth before whipping away towards the sun.
Solar Orbiter will reach its closest indicate Earth on Saturday, November 27 at 6:30 a.m. ET (3:30 a.m. PT), when it will be within 286 miles of the planets surface over North Africa and the Canary Islands. Thats just a little above the orbit of the International Space Station, showing simply how close the spacecraft will concern us, and it will have to travel through two rings of area debris in both geostationary orbit and low-Earth orbit.
The close pass is needed to slow the craft down enough that it can be lined up for a close pass of the sun, where it will be observing phenomena like the recently found “campfires” seen on the suns surface area. To do that, it has to get close, and its next pass of the sun in March 2022 will take it within 30 million miles of the star.
Although the flyby of Earth is risky due to the potential of accident with a piece of area particles, it likewise provides an opportunity to do some perk science. Solar Orbiter will be studying Earths electromagnetic field and the way it connects with the solar wind, which is the stream of particles provided off by the sun. The Orbiter will get an appearance at this phenomenon and see how its information compares to that collected by other spacecraft like ESAs Cluster and Swarm objectives.
” This flyby is exciting: seeing what Solar Orbiter sees in our part of area, and how that compares to what we are seeing, and if there are surprises, what are they?” said Anja Strømme, Swarm Mission Manager.
As Solar Orbiter performs its dangerous flyby of Earth, it might even be possible to identify it from the ground. “In the minutes leading up to closest approach, skywatchers in the Canaries and North Africa could capture a brief look of the spacecraft speeding through the sky,” ESA recommends.

The flyby of Earth is dangerous due to the potential of crash with a piece of area debris, it also provides a chance to do some bonus science. Solar Orbiter will be studying Earths magnetic field and the way it connects with the solar wind, which is the stream of particles provided off by the sun. As Solar Orbiter performs its dangerous flyby of Earth, it might even be possible to spot it from the ground.

This material was originally published here.


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