Huge Solar Eruption seen by Solar Orbiter, can disrupt Earth’s GPS signals
On Tuesday, February 15, a giant solar eruption was observed by NASA and ESA spacecraft.
The European Space Agency, which operates the Solar Orbiter mission along with NASA released an image and video on Friday from the spacecraft observations showcasing the largest solar prominence eruption ever observed.
In the video, combined images from the Solar Orbiter and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (another sun watching spacecraft) can be seen. It highlights just how massive the eruption was.
Wow! The giant solar eruption of 15 Feb seen by #SolarOrbiter – the largest solar prominence ever observed in a single image together with the full solar disc, thanks to the novel design of our Full Sun Imager.
https://t.co/gtF6DLfkEy #ExploreFarther #WeAreAllSolarOrbiters pic.twitter.com/VS5jqRrcPU
— ESA’s Solar Orbiter (@ESASolarOrbiter) February 18, 2022
According to ESA, solar prominences are large structures of tangled magnetic field lines that keep dense concentrations of solar plasma suspended above the sun’s surface, sometimes taking the form of arching loops. They also explained that this particular eruption extended for millions of kilometers into space.
The solar outbursts can result into beautiful auroras on Earth, but they can also disrupt GPS and communications systems. However, luckily this latest solar flare seems to have originated from the other side of the sun due to which it is moving away from our planet.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also shared it’s satellite view of eruption quoting it, “Now that’s a big bang” in a tweet on Thursday. NASA and the NOAA’S GOES-16 satellite is known for its views of Earth, but it also does some sun gazing.
Take a look:
Satellite instruments captured a dramatic solar eruption Tuesday, unlike any recent activity, on the sun’s surface. Now that’s a big bang: https://t.co/sFfHeyro6Z @NOAASatellites @CIRESnews #ScienceNews pic.twitter.com/OZvYO1ZZMY
— NOAA NCEI (@NOAANCEI) February 17, 2022