Solar Orbiter (SolO) – Atlas V 411 – Canaveral SLC-41 – 10.02.2020 – 07:05 ДМВ

Автор Andrey Samoilov, 10.12.2013 23:48:15

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tnt22

https://tass.ru/kosmos/8349831
Цитата28 АПР, 07:31
Зонд Solar Orbiter сблизится с Землей в ноябре 2021 года

МОСКВА, 28 апреля. /ТАСС/. Зонд Solar Orbiter, который был запущен в феврале 2020 года, под воздействием Земли в ноябре 2021 года совершит гравитационный маневр (изменение орбиты), после чего выйдет на рабочую орбиту вокруг Солнца. Об этом сообщили ТАСС в корпорации Airbus, которая построила аппарат.

Сейчас аппарат находится на околосолнечной орбите. В конце декабря 2020 года и начале августа 2021 года, уточнили в Airbus, зонд дважды попадет под влияние гравитационного поля Венеры. В результате орбита станет более вытянутой.

"С помощью гравитационного маневра вокруг Земли 26 ноября 2021 года космический аппарат выйдет на свою [180-дневную высокоэллиптическую] орбиту", - сказали в корпорации. На заданной орбите Solar Orbiter будет двигаться вокруг Солнца, то сближаясь, то отдаляясь от него.

"Начиная с сентября 2022 года и до конца миссии, аппарат совершит еще пять гравитационных маневров вокруг второй планеты (Венеры - прим. ТАСС)", - отметили в Airbus. Это позволят увеличить наклон орбиты относительно плоскости экватора Солнца. Таким образом, зонд сможет заглянуть в полярные области звезды.

Solar Orbiter - совместный проект НАСА и Европейского космического агентства (ЕКА) стоимостью примерно $1,5 млрд. Миссия зонда рассчитана на семь лет, в течение которых аппарату весом около двух тонн предстоит вести наблюдение за солнечной активностью и полярными областями звезды. Он был запущен 10 февраля 2020 года с мыса Канаверал на ракете-носителе Atlas V.

Всего зонд оснащен десятью различными приборами, шесть из которых будут постоянно направлены на Солнце, а четыре других необходимы для изучения состояния среды вокруг самого аппарата. Кроме того, на зонде установлен специальный теплозащитный щит, который позволит аппарату приближаться к Солнцу на расстояние до 42 млн км. В эти моменты внешняя поверхность защитного элемента будет нагреваться более чем до 500 градусов Цельсия, при этом температура приборов, скрытых за ним, не превысит 50 градусов Цельсия.

tnt22

http://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/BepiColombo/Earth_flyby_opens_new_science_opportunities_for_BepiColombo
ЦитатаEarth flyby opens new science opportunities for BepiColombo
30/04/2020

Science instruments aboard the European-Japanese Mercury explorer BepiColombo are in excellent condition to gather high-quality data during the spacecraft's long cruise to the innermost planet of the Solar System despite not having been designed for this purpose, teams collaborating on the mission learned during the spacecraft's April flyby of Earth.
 Скрытый текст:
The orbit-tightening manoeuvre, which saw BepiColombo come as close as 12 689 km to our planet's surface at 04:25 UTC on 10 April 2020, provided an opportunity to test six of the eleven instruments aboard ESA's Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO). Seven sensors of three instruments on the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter MIO of the Japanese Aerospace Agency (JAXA) were also on, as well as the three 'selfie' cameras mounted on the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM), which carries the two scientific orbiters to their destination.

"It was great to see that all of the instruments that we operated were functioning extremely well and provided good results," says ESA's BepiColombo project scientist Johannes Benkhoff. "We haven't had such a good opportunity to test them all in space before. It was fantastic to see that not only there weren't any problems, but that the data were of good quality despite the instruments being designed specifically for Mercury."

Better than expected


The first ever measurements of the Moon's surface in the thermal infrared spectrum taken by the Mercury Radiometer and Thermal Infrared Spectrometer (MERTIS) aboard the European/Japanese BepiColombo mission.

For example, the Mercury Radiometer and Thermal Infrared Spectrometer (MERTIS), a novel instrument for studying the surface composition of celestial objects, managed to take measurements of the Moon during the Earth flyby. The surface of the Moon is, however, much colder, than the surface of Mercury, which made the observations especially challenging.

"We were looking at something that at its hottest may have about 100°C, while we made MERTIS to study Mercury, which can have over 400°C," says Jörn Helbert, of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), a co-principal investigator of MERTIS. "Also, we will be looking at Mercury from the distance of less than 1000 km, while the Moon was 700 000 km away during the flyby."

On top of that, MERTIS looked at the Moon through its secondary port and not the main port, which is currently covered by the MTM. Still, the instrument captured a unique set of data.

"No one has observer the Moon in this spectral range before from space," says Jörn. "It's the first data set of its kind and it's at least as good as we hoped for."

Next stop: Venus


BepiColombo at Venus

The results are encouraging for the upcoming two flybys of Venus, a planet that has not been visited by a European spacecraft since the end of the Venus Express mission in 2014, and is currently orbited only by a Japanese mission called Akatsuki.

"Now that we know what this innovative instrument is capable of, we can focus on getting as much out of it as possible during the two flybys of Venus," says Johannes. "The same goes for the other instruments. It enables us to maximise the scientific potential of the entire mission in ways we didn't necessarily foresee when we were designing it."

BepiColombo will pass by Venus for the first time on 15 October at the distance of about 10 630 km. The spacecraft's second flyby of the planet, in August 2021, will take it as close as about 550 km from Venus' surface, closer than the orbit of Akatsuki.

"There are instruments, including MERTIS and the PHEBUS ultraviolet spectroscope, that can take measurements at Venus that we couldn't do with any previous mission," says Jörn. "We will be able to get a lot of data about the dense atmosphere of Venus that will be in a way similar to those we could get from the Soviet Venera 15 and 16 missions in the 1980s. That will provide a unique comparison."

The 'sound' of the magnetic field

https://dlmultimedia.esa.int/download/public/videos/2020/04/059/orig-2004_059_AR_EN.mp4
The 'sound' of Earth's magnetic field recorded by BepiColombo
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It is not only Venus that promises unforeseen scientific opportunities to the BepiColombo team. Just like MERTIS, the MPO Magnetic Field Investigation instrument (MPO-MAG) was designed specifically for Mercury. MPO-MAG's speciality is measuring weak magnetic fields, such as that of the smallest rocky planet of the Solar System. The instrument was, however, still able to obtain useful data during the Earth flyby, which helped to calibrate it for future measurements.

"If you put our magnetometer on the surface of Earth, you couldn't measure anything because the magnetic field is too strong," says Daniel Heyner of the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, Principal Investigator for MPO-MAG. "It turned out that the closest approach during the flyby was far enough from Earth that we still could make good measurements."

The MAG-MPO data revealed that the solar wind - a constant flow of electrically charged particles streaming from the Sun into interplanetary space - was very quiet on the day of the flyby. It also showed the moment when BepiColombo encountered the so-called bow shock, a sharp boundary that forms at the outer edge of the Earth's magnetic environment as it interacts with the solar wind. The data then reflected how the probe flew through the magnetosheath, a turbulent region still considerably affected by the interplanetary plasma, and crossed the magnetopause, the boundary after which the magnetic field of Earth dominates.

The team also got valuable insights into the interference from other instruments and especially from the MTM. Once at Mercury, the MPO will separate from the MTM, but being able to filter out the propulsion module's noise during the seven-year cruise opens new opportunities for previously unplanned scientific investigations.
Working in tandem with Solar Orbiter

https://dlmultimedia.esa.int/download/public/videos/2020/01/019/2001_019_AR_EN.mp4
What is Solar Orbiter
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"This is a very interesting time for investigations of the solar wind," says Daniel. "We now have several recently launched spacecraft travelling in the direction of the Sun that have some similar instruments. There is ESA's Solar Orbiter and NASA's Parker Solar Probe. They are in the heliosphere at different distances from the Sun and that enables us, for example, to track coronal mass ejections and study how their speed and intensity changes as they propagate from the Sun."

The MAG-MPO  team now plans, despite the original focus on Mercury, to keep measuring the solar wind for most of the seven-year journey.

Johannes expects that working in tandem especially with ESA's own Solar Orbiter will enable large synergies and a new approach to the study of the environment around the Sun.

"With the BepiColombo Earth flyby we were able to prove that our instruments perform well even during the cruise phase," he says. "Now we know that we can do some real and innovative science that takes advantage of the network of spacecraft that we currently have in the inner Solar System."

tnt22

Цитата: undefined ESA's Solar Orbiter @ESASolarOrbiter 2 ч

The commissioning of #SolarOrbiter has been proceeding over the past three months to ensure the spacecraft and instruments will be fully functional for the 1st close pass of the #Sun, to take place on 15 June, around 77 million km from our parent star.
https://video.twimg.com/tweet_video/EZLhHYzWkAUClED.mp4 (0:09)

tnt22

https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Solar_Orbiter/Solar_Orbiter_to_pass_through_the_tails_of_Comet_ATLAS

Цитата: undefinedSolar Orbiter to pass through the tails of Comet ATLAS
29/05/2020

ESA's Solar Orbiter will cross through the tails of Comet ATLAS during the next few days. Although the recently launched spacecraft was not due to be taking science data at this time, mission experts have worked to ensure that the four most relevant instruments will be switched on during the unique encounter.

Solar Orbiter was launched on 10 February 2020. Since then, and with the exception of a brief shutdowndue to the coronavirus pandemic, scientists and engineers have been conducting a series of tests and set-up routines known as commissioning.

Solar Orbiter facing the Sun (artist's impression)
Solar Orbiter facing the Sun (artist's impression)


The completion date for this phase was set at 15 June, so that the spacecraft could be fully functional for its first close pass of the Sun, or perihelion, in mid-June. However, the discovery of the chance encounter with the comet made things more urgent.

Serendipitously flying through a comet's tail is a rare event for a space mission, something scientists know to have happened only six times before for missions that were not specifically chasing comets. All such encounters have been discovered in the spacecraft data after the event. Solar Orbiter's upcoming crossing is the first to be predicted in advance.

It was noticed by Geraint Jones of the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UK, who has a 20-year history of investigating such encounters. He discovered the first accidental tail crossing in 2000, while investigating a strange disturbance in data recorded by the ESA/NASA Ulysses Sun-studying spacecraft in 1996. This study revealed that the spacecraft had passed through the tail of Comet Hyakutake, also known as 'The Great Comet of 1996'. Soon after the announcement, Ulysses crossed the tail of another comet, and then a third one in 2007.

Earlier this month, realising that Solar Orbiter was going to be 44 million kilometres downstream of Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) in just a matter of weeks, Geraint immediately alerted the ESA team.

Bonus science

Solar Orbiter Instruments
Solar Orbiter Instruments


Solar Orbiter is equipped with a suite of 10 in-situ and remote-sensing instruments to investigate the Sun and the flow of charged particles it releases into space - the solar wind. Fortuitously, the four in-situ instruments are also perfect for detecting the comet's tails because they measure the conditions around the spacecraft, and so they could return data about the dust grains and the electrically charged particles given off by the comet. These emissions create the comet's two tails: the dust tail that is left behind in the comet's orbit and the ion tail that points straight away from the Sun.

Anatomy of a comet - Infographic
Anatomy of a comet - Infographic


Solar Orbiter will cross the ion tail of Comet ATLAS on 31 May-1 June, and the dust tail on 6 June. If the ion tail is dense enough, Solar Orbiter's magnetometer (MAG) might detect the variation of the interplanetary magnetic field because of its interaction with ions in the comet's tail, while the Solar Wind Analyser (SWA) could directly capture some of the tail particles.

When Solar Orbiter crosses the dust tail, depending on its density - which is extremely difficult to predict - it is possible that one or more tiny dust grains may hit the spacecraft at speeds of tens of kilometres per second. While there is no significant risk to the spacecraft from this, the dust grains themselves will be vaporised on impact, forming tiny clouds of electrically charged gas, or plasma, which could be detected by the Radio and Plasma Waves (RPW) instrument.

"An unexpected encounter like this provides a mission with unique opportunities and challenges, but that's good! Chances like this are all part of the adventure of science," says Günther Hasinger, ESA Director of Science.

One of those challenges was that the instruments seemed unlikely to all be ready in time because of the commissioning. Now, thanks to a special effort by the instrument teams and ESA's mission operations team, all four in-situ instruments will be on and collecting data, even though at certain times the instruments will need to be switched back into commissioning mode to ensure that the 15 June deadline is met.

"With these caveats, we are ready for whatever Comet ATLAS has to tell us," says Daniel Müller, ESA Project Scientist for Solar Orbiter.

Expect the unexpected

Hubble captures breakup of Comet ATLAS in April 2020
Hubble captures breakup of Comet ATLAS in April 2020


Another challenge entails the comet's behaviour. Comet ATLAS was discovered on 28 December 2019. During the next few months, it brightened so much that astronomers wondered whether it would become visible to the naked eye in May.

Unfortunately, in early April the comet fragmented. As a result, its brightness dropped significantly too, robbing sky watchers of the view. A further fragmentation in mid-May has diminished the comet even more, making it less likely to be detectable by Solar Orbiter.

Although the chances of detection have reduced, the effort is still worth making according to Geraint.

"With each encounter with a comet, we learn more about these intriguing objects. If Solar Orbiter detects Comet ATLAS's presence, then we'll learn more about how comets interact with the solar wind, and we can check, for example, whether our expectations of dust tail behaviour agree with our models," he explains. "All missions that encounter comets provide pieces of the jigsaw puzzle."

Geraint is the principal investigator of ESA's future Comet Interceptor mission, which consists of three spacecraft and is scheduled for launch in 2028. It will make a much closer flyby of an as yet unknown comet that will be selected from the newly discovered comets nearer the time of launch (or even after that).

Grazing the Sun

Solar Orbiter: journey around the Sun
Solar Orbiter: journey around the Sun


Solar Orbiter is currently circling our parent star between the orbits of Venus and Mercury, with its first perihelion to take place on 15 June, around 77 million kilometres from the Sun. In coming years, it will get much closer, within the orbit of Mercury, around 42 million kilometres from the solar surface. Meanwhile, Comet ATLAS is already there, approaching its own perihelion, which is expected on 31 May, around 37 million kilometres from the Sun.

"This tail crossing is also exciting because it will happen for the first time at such close distances from the Sun, with the comet nucleus being inside the orbit of Mercury," says Yannis Zouganelis, ESA Deputy Project Scientist for Solar Orbiter.

Understanding the dust environment in the innermost region of the Solar System is one of Solar Orbiter's scientific objectives.

"Near-Sun comets like Comet ATLAS are sources of dust in the inner heliosphere and so this study will not only help us understand the comet, but also the dust environment of our star," adds Yannis.

Looking at an icy object rather than the scorching Sun is certainly an exciting - and unexpected - way for Solar Orbiter to start its scientific mission, but that's the nature of science.

"Scientific discovery is built on good planning and serendipity. In the three months since launch, the Solar Orbiter team has already proved that it's ready for both," says Daniel.

tnt22

Цитата: undefined ESA's Solar Orbiter @ESASolarOrbiter 1 ч. назад

If #SolarOrbiter detects Comet ATLAS's presence, scientists could learn more about how #comets interact with the solar wind - the flow of charged particles released by the #Sun - and also about the dust environment of our star, as the comet nucleus is inside the orbit of Mercury.
https://video.twimg.com/tweet_video/EZLnf2AXQAEKYAy.mp4 (0:09)

tnt22

https://nauka.tass.ru/nauka/8599467

Цитата: undefined29 МАЯ, 18:01
Зонд Solar Orbiter пролетит через хвост кометы ATLAS на выходных
Благодаря этому ученые планируют узнать больше о составе хвоста кометы, а также о том, какие изменения происходят в свойствах межпланетной среды из-за выбросов с поверхности небесного тела

ТАСС, 29 мая. Европейский зонд Solar Orbiter, который предназначен для изучения Солнца с близкого расстояния, получит уникальную возможность изучить химический состав и другие свойства хвоста недавно открытой кометы ATLAS на этих выходных. Об этом пишет пресс-служба Европейского космического агентства (ЕКА).

"Мы впервые проведем подобные исследования на столь близком расстоянии от Солнца - сейчас осколки ядра кометы ATLAS находятся в пределах орбиты Меркурия. Подобные небесные тела представляют собой главный источник космической пыли во внутренних областях Солнечной системы, что делает эти наблюдения вдвойне интересными", - рассказал заместитель научного руководителя проекта Solar Orbiter Яннис Зуганелис.

Solar Orbiter - совместный проект NASA и Европейского космического агентства (ЕКА) стоимостью примерно 1,5 млрд долларов. Миссия зонда рассчитана на семь лет, в течение которых аппарату массой около двух тонн предстоит наблюдать за солнечной активностью и полярными областями звезды. Его запустили 10 февраля 2020 года с мыса Канаверал на ракете-носителе Atlas V.

Всего зонд оснащен десятью различными приборами, шесть из которых будут постоянно направлены на Солнце, а четыре других нужны для того, чтобы изучать состояние среды вокруг самого аппарата. Кроме того, на зонде установлен специальный теплозащитный щит, благодаря которому аппарат сможет подлететь к Солнцу на расстояние до 42 млн км.

Случайная встреча с кометой

Узнав, что в ближайшие дни Solar Orbiter сблизится с кометой ATLAS (C/2019 Y4), которую открыли в декабре прошлого года, команда миссии экстренно - почти на месяц раньше - включила все эти приборы, чтобы проверить, хорошо ли они работают и смогут ли провести нужные наблюдения.

Как показали расчеты, Solar Orbiter не только подлетит к комете достаточно близко, но и пролетит через ее ионный и газопылевой хвост. По прогнозам исследователей, это произойдет в ближайшие три дня.

Приборы, которые ученые готовят к встрече с кометой, попытаются уловить изменения в свойствах межпланетной среды, которые происходят из-за выбросов с поверхности кометы. Кроме того, специалисты планируют измерить свойства пыли, порождаемой ATLAS.

Еще через неделю, как ожидают исследователи, Solar Oribter подойдет к комете на минимальное расстояние, благодаря чему он, если удачно сложатся обстоятельства, сможет напрямую изучить содержимое газопылевого хвоста ATLAS. В этом случае европейская солнечная обсерватория станет первым космическим аппаратом, который случайно провел подобную процедуру при сближении кометы с Солнцем.

tnt22

Цитата: undefined ESA's Solar Orbiter @ESASolarOrbiter 9 ч. назад

Today is THE DAY! The day of Solar Orbiter's first perihelion. We are about 77 million km from the Sun's surface, half the distance between Earth and the Sun. No one has ever been closer with a camera to the beast. Read more: http://esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Solar_Orbiter/Solar_Orbiter_makes_first_close_approach_to_the_Sun...


zandr

https://www.astronews.ru/cgi-bin/mng.cgi?page=news&news=20200617175410
ЦитатаSolar Orbiter делает первый близкий подход к Солнцу
Космический аппарат ESA «Solar Orbiter» совершил свой первый близкий подход к Солнцу 15 июня, приблизившись к его поверхности на 77 миллионов километров, что составляет примерно половину расстояния между Солнцем и Землей.
Ученые испытают десять инструментов космического аппарата, включая шесть телескопов на борту, которые впервые получат близкие изображения Солнца. По словам ученого проекта ESA «Solar Orbiter» Даниэля Мюллера, снимки, которые будут выпущены в середине июля, будут самыми близкими изображениями солнца, когда-либо существовавшие.
"Мы никогда не фотографировали Солнце с более близкого расстояния", - говорит Даниэль. "Были и более крупные планы с более высоким разрешением, например, снятые четырехметровым солнечным телескопом Daniel K. Inouye на Гавайях в начале этого года. Но с Земли, с атмосферой между телескопом и солнцем, вы можете видеть только небольшую часть солнечного спектра, из космоса же изображение будет гораздо четче и лучше".
Зонд NASA «Parker Solar», запущенный в 2018 году, делает более близкие подходы к Солнцу. Но космический аппарат, однако, не имеет телескопов, способных смотреть прямо на солнце.
"Наши ультрафиолетовые телескопы имеют то же самое пространственное разрешение, что и телескопы солнечной динамической обсерватории НАСА (SDO), которая принимает изображения солнца с высоким разрешением с орбиты, близкой к Земле. Поскольку в настоящее время мы находимся на половине расстояния до Солнца, наши изображения имеют вдвое большее разрешение", - говорит Даниэль.
Основная цель этих ранних наблюдений - доказать, что телескопы «Solar Orbiter» готовы к будущим научным наблюдениям.
"Впервые мы сможем собрать изображения со всех наших телескопов и увидеть, как они принимают данные о различных частях Солнца, включая поверхность, внешнюю атмосферу, а также гелиосферу вокруг нее", - говорит Даниэль.
Ученые также проанализируют данные с четырех приборов, которые измеряют свойства окружающей среды вокруг космического аппарата, такие как магнитное поле и частицы, составляющие солнечный ветер.
"Это первый случай, когда наши приборы работают на таком близком расстоянии к Солнцу, предоставляя нам, уникальное представление о структуре и составе солнечного ветра", - говорит Яннис Зуганелис, заместитель научного сотрудника проекта «Solar Orbiter» ЕКА. "Для приборов это не просто тест, мы ожидаем новых и захватывающих результатов".
«Solar Orbiter», запущенный 10 февраля этого года, завершает свой тестовый этап 15 июня и начнет свою круизную фазу, которая продлится до ноября 2021 года. Во время следующего этапа космический аппарат приблизится к поверхности Солнца на расстояние 42 миллиона километров, что ближе, чем планета Меркурий.
Космический аппарат достигнет своего следующего этапа в начале 2021 года. Во время первого близкого прохода в начале 2022 года, он приблизится к 48 миллионам километров.
Затем операторы солнечных орбитальных аппаратов будут использовать гравитацию Венеры для постепенного смещения орбиты космического аппарата из плоскости эклиптики, в которой вращаются планеты Солнечной системы. Эти полетные маневры позволят «Solar Orbiter» взглянуть на солнце с более высоких широт и получить первый в истории правильный вид его полюсов. Изучение активности в полярных регионах поможет ученым лучше понять поведение магнитного поля Солнца, которое создает солнечный ветер, что в свою очередь влияет на окружающую среду всей Солнечной системы.
Поскольку космический аппарат в настоящее время находится на расстоянии 134 миллионов километров от Земли, потребуется около недели для загрузки всех изображений через 35-метровую антенну ЕКА в Маларгуэ, Аргентина. Научные группы затем обработают изображения, прежде чем выпустить их на публику в середине июля. Данные от аппаратуры станут публичными позже.
"У нас есть девятичасовое окно загрузки каждый день, но мы уже очень далеко от Земли, поэтому скорость передачи данных намного ниже, чем в первые недели миссии, когда мы все еще были очень близко к Земле", - говорит Даниэль. "На более поздних этапах миссии, передача данных иногда будет занимать и до нескольких месяцев, потому что «Solar Orbiter» действительно является довольно сложной миссией. В отличие от околоземных миссий, мы можем хранить много данных на борту и соединять их, когда мы снова находимся ближе к дому, и подключение к данным намного лучше".

tnt22

Цитата: undefined ESA @esa 20 мин. назад

"The first images are exceeding our expectations," says Daniel Müller, ESA #SolarOrbiter Project Scientist. Join us for the press briefing on 16 July at 13:00 BST/14:00 CEST to see #TheSunUpClose

Details 👉 https://esa.int/Newsroom/Press_Releases/Call_for_Media_ESA_to_reveal_first_images_from_Solar_Orbiter

https://www.esa.int/Newsroom/Press_Releases/Call_for_Media_ESA_to_reveal_first_images_from_Solar_Orbiter

Цитата: undefinedFirst images from ESA's Solar Orbiter to be revealed:

The first images from ESA's new Sun-observing spacecraft Solar Orbiter will be released to the public on 16 July 2020. Media representatives are invited to watch an online press briefing, which will take place at 14:00 CEST (13:00 BST), and talk to the scientists behind the mission.

tnt22

https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Solar_Orbiter/Solar_Orbiter_s_first_images_reveal_campfires_on_the_Sun

Цитата: undefinedSolar Orbiter's first images reveal 'campfires' on the Sun
16/07/2020

The first images from Solar Orbiter, a new Sun-observing mission by ESA and NASA, have revealed omnipresent miniature solar flares, dubbed 'campfires', near the surface of our closest star.

According to the scientists behind the mission, seeing phenomena that were not observable in detail before hints at the enormous potential of Solar Orbiter, which has only just finished its early phase of technical verification known as commissioning.

"These are only the first images and we can already see interesting new phenomena," says Daniel Müller, ESA's Solar Orbiter Project Scientist. "We didn't really expect such great results right from the start. We can also see how our ten scientific instruments complement each other, providing a holistic picture of the Sun and the surrounding environment."

Solar Orbiter, launched on 10 February 2020, carries six remote-sensing instruments, or telescopes, that image the Sun and its surroundings, and four in situ instruments that monitor the environment around the spacecraft. By comparing the data from both sets of instruments, scientists will get insights into the generation of the solar wind, the stream of charged particles from the Sun that influences the entire Solar System.

The unique aspect of the Solar Orbiter mission is that no other spacecraft has been able to take images of the Sun's surface from a closer distance.

Closest images of the Sun reveal new phenomena


First views of the Sun obtained with Solar Orbiter's EUI on 30 May 2020, revealing the omnipresent miniature eruptions dubbed 'campfires'.

The campfires shown in the first image set were captured by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) from Solar Orbiter's first perihelion, the point in its elliptical orbit closest to the Sun. At that time, the spacecraft was only 77 million km away from the Sun, about half the distance between Earth and the star.

"The campfires are little relatives of the solar flares that we can observe from Earth, million or billion times smaller," says David Berghmans of the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB), Principal Investigator of the EUI instrument, which takes high-resolution images of the lower layers of the Sun's atmosphere, known as the solar corona. "The Sun might look quiet at the first glance, but when we look in detail, we can see those miniature flares everywhere we look."

The scientists do not know yet whether the campfires are just tiny versions of big flares, or whether they are driven by different mechanisms. There are, however, already theories that these miniature flares could be contributing to one of the most mysterious phenomena on the Sun, the coronal heating.

Unravelling the Sun's mysteries


One of the newly found campfires in an image from Solar Orbiter's EUI. The circle in the lower left corner indicates the size of Earth for scale.

"These campfires are totally insignificant each by themselves, but summing up their effect all over the Sun, they might be the dominant contribution to the heating of the solar corona," says Frédéric Auchère, of the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), France, Co-Principal Investigator of EUI.

The solar corona is the outermost layer of the Sun's atmosphere that extends millions of kilometres into outer space. Its temperature is more than a million degrees Celsius, which is orders of magnitude hotter than the surface of the Sun, a 'cool' 5500 °C. After many decades of studies, the physical mechanisms that heat the corona are still not fully understood, but identifying them is considered the 'holy grail' of solar physics.

"It's obviously way too early to tell but we hope that by connecting these observations with measurements from our other instruments that 'feel' the solar wind as it passes the spacecraft, we will eventually be able to answer some of these mysteries," says Yannis Zouganelis, Solar Orbiter Deputy Project Scientist at ESA.

Seeing the far side of the Sun

https://dlmultimedia.esa.int/download/public/videos/2020/07/013/2007_013_AR_EN.mp4
Complementary views of the Sun and its outer atmosphere, or corona, based on the EUI, PHI, Metis and SoloHi instruments.
Access the video


The Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager (PHI) is another cutting-edge instrument aboard Solar Orbiter. It makes high-resolution measurements of the magnetic field lines on the surface of the Sun. It is designed to monitor active regions on the Sun, areas with especially strong magnetic fields, which can give birth to solar flares.

During solar flares, the Sun releases bursts of energetic particles that enhance the solar wind that constantly emanates from the star into the surrounding space. When these particles interact with Earth's magnetosphere, they can cause magnetic storms that can disrupt telecommunication networks and power grids on the ground.


The Sun and its magnetic properties observed by the PHI instrument on Solar Orbiter.

"Right now, we are in the part of the 11-year solar cycle when the Sun is very quiet," says Sami Solanki, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany, and PHI Principal Investigator. "But because Solar Orbiter is at a different angle to the Sun than Earth, we could actually see one active region that wasn't observable from Earth. That is a first. We have never been able to measure the magnetic field at the back of the Sun."

The magnetograms, showing how the strength of the solar magnetic field varies across the Sun's surface, could be then compared with the measurements from the in situ instruments.

"The PHI instrument is measuring the magnetic field on the surface, we see structures in the Sun's corona with EUI, but we also try to infer the magnetic field lines going out into the interplanetary medium, where Solar Orbiter is," says Jose Carlos del Toro Iniesta, PHI Co-Principal Investigator, of Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Spain.

Catching the solar wind


Combining remote-sensing observations from SPICE with in situ measurements from SWA.

The four in situ instruments on Solar Orbiter then characterise the magnetic field lines and solar wind as it passes the spacecraft.

Christopher Owen, of University College London Mullard Space Science Laboratory and Principal Investigator of the in situ Solar Wind Analyser, adds, "Using this information, we can estimate where on the Sun that particular part of the solar wind was emitted, and then use the full instrument set of the mission to reveal and understand the physical processes operating in the different regions on the Sun which lead to solar wind formation."

"We are all really excited about these first images - but this is just the beginning," adds Daniel. "Solar Orbiter has started a grand tour of the inner Solar System, and will get much closer to the Sun within less than two years. Ultimately, it will get as close as 42 million km, which is almost a quarter of the distance from Sun to Earth."

"The first data are already demonstrating the power behind a successful collaboration between space agencies and the usefulness of a diverse set of images in unravelling some of the Sun's mysteries," comments Holly Gilbert, Director of the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Solar Orbiter Project Scientist at NASA.


A 'family portrait' of the first images and data from Solar Orbiter's ten instruments.

Solar Orbiter is a space mission of international collaboration between ESA and NASA. Nineteen ESA Member States (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), as well as NASA, contributed to the science payload and/or the spacecraft. The satellite was built by prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space in the UK.

The Solar Orbiter First Images photo gallery is available here.

tnt22

https://nauka.tass.ru/nauka/8983383

Цитата: undefined16 ИЮЛ, 15:19
Зонд Solar Orbiter получил первые фотографии Солнца с близкого расстояния
Астрономы разглядели на них "солнечные костры", а также измерили свойства солнечного ветра

Зонд Solar Orbiter EPA-EFE/ESA/ATG Medialab
Зонд Solar Orbiter
© EPA-EFE/ESA/ATG Medialab


ТАСС, 16 июля. Космический аппарат Solar Orbiter передал на Землю первые фотографии Солнца, полученные с расстояния в 77 млн км от поверхности светила. Ученые впервые увидели на них миниатюрные подобия солнечных вспышек. Об этом участники миссии рассказали на онлайн-брифинге, который проходил в штаб-квартире Европейского космического агентства (ЕКА).

"Мы очень рады, что мы получили эти снимки, но это только начало. Наша миссия продолжит свое путешествие по внутренней Солнечной системе и примерно через два года подойдет к Солнцу еще ближе. В конечном итоге аппарат окажется на расстоянии в 42 млн км от его поверхности. Это в четыре раза меньше, чем дистанция между Землей и светилом", - рассказал научный руководитель миссии в ЕКА Дэниел Мюллер.

Фотографии Солнца, которые сделал аппарат Solar Orbiter Solar Orbiter/EUI Team (ESA & NASA); CSL, IAS, MPS, PMOD/WRC, ROB, UCL/MSSL
Фотографии Солнца, которые сделал аппарат Solar Orbiter
© Solar Orbiter/EUI Team (ESA & NASA); CSL, IAS, MPS, PMOD/WRC, ROB, UCL/MSSL


Solar Orbiter - совместный проект NASA и ЕКА. Его миссия рассчитана на семь лет, в течение которых аппарат будет наблюдать за солнечной активностью и полярными областями нашей звезды. Аппарат запустили 10 февраля 2020 года с мыса Канаверал на ракете-носителе Atlas V.  Стоимость миссии оценивают примерно в $1,5 млрд.

Зонд оснащен десятью различными приборами, шесть из которых будут постоянно направлены на Солнце, а четыре других нужны для изучения состояния среды вокруг самого аппарата. Кроме того, на Solar Orbiter установлен специальный теплозащитный щит, благодаря которому аппарат может приближаться к Солнцу на расстояние до 42 млн км.

Недавно, как отметил Мюллер, специалисты миссии закончили проверять инструменты Solar Orbiter перед тем, как миссия в первый раз сблизилась с Солнцем, подойдя к нему на расстояние в 77 млн км. Благодаря этому ученые получили первые научные данные. Эти измерения, по словам руководителя Solar Orbiter, уже сейчас принесли несколько интересных и неожиданных открытий.

Обратная сторона Солнца

В частности, фотографии поверхности светила, полученные ультрафиолетовой камерой EUI, указали, что на поверхности светила возникают миниатюрные вспышки. Астрономы окрестили их "солнечными кострами". Подобные структуры, как предполагают исследователи, играют важную роль в разогреве короны Солнца до сверхвысоких температур.

Солнечные костры
"Солнечные костры" на снимках указаны стрелками
© Solar Orbiter/EUI Team (ESA & NASA); CSL, IAS, MPS, PMOD/WRC, ROB, UCL/MSSL


Иследователи подчеркивают, что пока еще рано говорить о том, что Solar Orbiter раскрыл этот механизм. Однако они надеются, что следующие наблюдения помогут им доказать это.

Кроме этого зонд получил первые данные по тому, как выглядят области магнитной активности на Солнце, а также связанные с ними пятна и другие структуры на "обратной стороне" светила, которая скрыта от всех наблюдателей на Земле.

Эти наблюдения особенно важны для астрономов, так как до недавнего времени наше светило находилось в "спячке" и видимых крупных пятен на его поверхности было очень мало. Подобные данные, как надеются астрофизики, позволят узнать, какие процессы управляют 11-летним циклом активности Солнца.

Также в момент максимального сближения аппарата со звездной астрономы измерили свойства солнечного ветра. Эти данные, а также последующие измерения подобного рода, как надеются исследователи, помогут ученым понять, как формируется этот поток заряженных частиц и где он возникает.

Более детальные данные, как отметили ученые, они рассчитывают получить в конце следующего года, когда Solar Orbiter еще раз сблизится со светилом, а также во второй половине 2022 года, когда зонд после серии гравитационных маневров выйдет на стабильную орбиту вокруг Солнца и будет подходить к нему ближе, чем Меркурий.

tnt22

30.09.2020 17:57:07 #331 Последнее редактирование: 30.09.2020 23:44:55 от tnt22
http://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Solar_Orbiter/Solar_Orbiter_releases_first_data_to_the_public

ЦитатаSolar Orbiter releases first data to the public
30/09/2020

ESA has released its first Solar Orbiter data to the scientific community and the wider public. The instruments contributing to this data release come from the suite of in-situ instruments that measure the conditions surrounding the spacecraft.

The instruments contributing data to the release are the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD), the Radio and Plasma Waves (RPW) instrument, and the Magnetometer (MAG). Data from the fourth in-situ instrument, the Solar Wind Plasma Analyser (SWA) will be released later this year. Solar Orbiter's remote-sensing instruments will only start their nominal operations in November 2021. They are continuing to perform tests and calibrations during short intervals until then.

Solar Orbiter Instruments
-- Solar Orbiter Instruments

As soon as a mission is in space, the teams work to commission the instruments and start collecting science data. As soon as the information starts to flow in, interest builds towards the first data release.

In the case of many space missions, the first data release usually comes after six months or a year, to reward the teams that have built the instruments with an exclusive first look at the data. Long before launch, however, it was agreed that Solar Orbiter would be different.

"We want Solar Orbiter to be one of the most open space missions. This means open to the whole world, not only to the teams who have built the instruments," says Yannis Zouganelis, Solar Orbiter Deputy Project Scientist for ESA.

Based on the successful approach taken by previous solar physics missions, it was decided that the time between the data being received on Earth and it being released to the world would be at most 90 days. During this period, the instrument teams calibrate the data taken by Solar Orbiter from its ever-changing distance to the Sun. That would be a fast turn-around at the best of times; with the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic this year, it is a double achievement to hit the deadline.

"To do this in COVID-19 times was very challenging," says Yannis, "But we are ready to deliver the data to the scientific community according to the plan, so that they can do science with it."

https://dlmultimedia.esa.int/download/public/videos/2019/12/035/1912_035_AR_EN.mp4
-- Solar Orbiter facing the Sun
Access the video

The work begins long before launch, with the various instrument teams getting ready to receive and process their data. The teams themselves are composed of dozens of people, often in many different countries.

Once the instruments are taking data, the mission enters a calibration phase in which a lot of work is put in by each instrument team to understand how their instrument is working in space, whether the data coming back is as expected, and which instrumental and spacecraft effects need to be corrected for. For example, instrument readouts depend on the temperature of the detector, but often the thermometers are by necessity located at a certain distance away. Thus, the data must be calibrated with the actual 'in-orbit' thermal behaviour of the spacecraft.

Once the working instrument is understood, the teams process the data and send them to ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), near Madrid. There, the data is archived at the ESAC Science Data Centre and made accessible to the public.

"It's a coordinated effort involving dozens of people from many different teams, many different countries, and all parties have to work together, like an orchestra, to make sure that everything is ready at the right time," says Yannis.

This orchestra is directed by ESA's Solar Orbiter archive scientist Pedro Osuna in concert with the ESAC Science Data Centre. The effort requires dedicated hands-on commitment from all instrument teams to transform the raw data into calibrated products for scientific analysis.

"When the data is received on the ground it is raw data, just ones and zeros," says Javier Rodríguez-Pacheco, University of Alcalá, and the Principal Investigator of EPD. "This is sent to us and we transform it into physical units that can be used for scientific purposes."

For this first data release, Javier says that most of the data was cleaned and calibrated by hand but in future, once they fully understand the responses of the different EPD sensors, they are looking to create a data pipeline that will be able to largely automate the process. Although, someone will always supervise the process.

The data being released from RPW comes from readings that were taken after 15 June because the period before was the commissioning phase rather than the science phase. "In the commissioning period, we do all sorts of strange things with the instrument," says Jan Soucek, Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague and lead co-investigator of RPW.

In this mode, readings are collected in a number of different ways and this makes them poorly suited for science. "If you want to look at statistics, you need to make sure that you are measuring things in a consistent way, so if we play with the instrument all the time, it's not very consistent," says Jan.

But like the other instruments, once its behaviour is known, the data can be processed relatively easily and quickly.


-- Solar Orbiter boom deployment and first magnetic field measurements

In the case of MAG, the job was to learn about all the small magnetic fields that the spacecraft itself generates when its various circuits and equipment are switched on and off. Tim Horbury, Imperial College, and Principal Investigator of MAG, says that the fact the data is ready on time is testament to the hard work of the engineering team at Imperial College.

"They have worked incredibly hard over the last few months. It's been an immense amount of work," he says. "There's a lot of it that we're releasing that nobody's really looked at in great detail yet. So I am sure there will also be a whole extra set of wonders - we just don't know what they are yet. There's an enormous amount for people to do, and I really hope that people will dive in."

The fourth in-situ instrument, SWA, is still working on its data processing and calibration. "We have had a number of teething challenges operating safely with the high-voltages that are an integral part of all three of our sensors," says Christopher Owen, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, and SWA's principal investigator. "As a consequence we have not been able to take as much data, or to spend as much time on understanding performance as we would have liked."

However, Chris is optimistic. "The sensors themselves are fundamentally healthy, and we can see from the data we do have that they are capable of delivering great science and fulfilling the important roles they have in delivering the unique mission science goals," he says.

In the meantime, there is more than enough data from the other instruments for the scientific community to begin work with. In tandem with the data release, a special issue of the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics is being published that contains mission and instrument descriptions.

"Now any scientist from any country can get the data and do science with it. In fact, there are already hundreds of scientists working together to make sense out of this unique data," says Yannis.