parker was built for this: it went through a solar explosion of particles called coronal mass ejection which could have caused enormous consequences for satellites and networks on Earth.
The solar probe parkerbuilt by the space agency POTrecently went through a powerful explosion called coronal mass ejection (CME).
The event occurred on September 5, 2022 and lasted at least two full days, according to research published by scientists in the Astrophysical Journal. At that time, the ship was 9.2 million kilometers from the Sun.
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A big space collision
The encounter occurred on the opposite side of the Sun, in relation to the Earth.
The CME, a gigantic solar explosion of charged particles, was so powerful that it could have caused major blackouts across the continent, scientists say. Some of those scorching particles streaked through space at about five million kilometers per hour.
Precisely this power is the reason for existence of parkercreated precisely to try to withstand these great cosmic outbursts.
The most spectacular thing is that everything has been recorded on video. The Wide Field Imaging for Solar Probe (WISPR) camera parker showed the view of the CME from the spacecraft: what begins as a peaceful view of deep space suddenly becomes filled with bright light. Bursts of material pass from left to right the camera’s view as probe passes through ejected solar material and dust.
Based on data from the probe, scientists studying the CME concluded that the ejecta removed interplanetary dust away from the Sun. Like dust that accumulates in homes, the space cleared by the CME was quickly covered in more interplanetary dust. But for a moment, it was an open space.
Trouble on Earth
If the coronal mass ejection September 2022 had headed toward Earth, it could have caused a geomagnetic storm of approximately the same magnitude as the Carrington Event, the most powerful in recorded history. That 1859 phenomenon generated failures in the telegraph systems in Europe and North America.
The solar probe parker was launched in August 2018. The spacecraft was designed to get closer and closer to the Sun during the course of his seven-year mission.
Those in charge of the spacecraft hope that more events of this type can be captured during the remaining eight approaches to the Sun planned for the rest of his mission. The spacecraft’s next solar flyby, its 17th, will take place on September 27.