Lagrange mission to provide solar warning

Video: 00:02:27 Earth’s magnetic field protects life on Earth from the intense radiation and titanic amounts of energetic material our Sun blasts in every direction. However, astronauts and satellites in space, future explorers travelling to the Moon and Mars, and infrastructure on Earth such as power grids and communication systems remain vulnerable to these violent […]

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Here comes the Sun

Image: At this very moment, a spacecraft is headed toward the brightly burning Sun, photographed here on an Antarctic summer day by ESA sponsored medical doctor Stijn Thoolen at Concordia research station. Solar Orbiter is ESA’s latest mission to study the Sun up close. Launched in the early hours of 10 February from Cape Canaveral, […]

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Asteroid experts catch final glimpse of Solar Orbiter

Image: Last night, ESA’s Planetary Defence team observed the rare moment in which an object escaped our planet’s gravity, in contrast to their normal objects of study – potentially hazardous rocks that could strike it. At 19:15 UTC (20:15 CET) on 10 February, just over 20 hours after the launch of Solar Orbiter, the team […]

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Pine Island Glacier spawns piglets

Video: 00:00:11 As anticipated, Pine Island Glacier, known as PIG for short, in Antarctica has just spawned a huge iceberg. At over 300 sq km, about the size of Malta, this huge berg very quickly broke into many ‘piglet’ pieces the largest of which is dubbed B-49. Thanks to images from the Copernicus Sentinel satellite […]

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Solar Orbiter launch highlights

Video: 00:01:57 Highlights from the preparation and liftoff of ESA’s Sun-exploring mission Solar Orbiter. Solar Orbiter lofted to space aboard the US Atlas V 411 rocket from NASA’s spaceport in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 04:03 GMT (05:03 CET) on 10 February 2020. An ESA-led mission with strong NASA participation, Solar Orbiter carries a set of […]

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Qarman CubeSat: falling into a fireball

This Wednesday 12 February,  ESA’s latest mission will enter the vacuum of space, not aboard a rocket but by being released from the International Space Station. The first task of the shoebox-sized Qarman CubeSat is simply to fall. While typical space missions resist orbital decay, Qarman will drift down month by month until it reenters […]

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ESA's next Sun mission will be shadow-casting pair

After Solar Orbiter , ESA’s next mission observing the Sun will not be one spacecraft but two: the double satellites making up Proba-3 will fly in formation to cast an artificial solar eclipse, opening up the clearest view yet of the Sun’s faint atmosphere – probing the mysteries of its million degree heat and magnetic […]

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SOlar Orbiter Launch

Solar Orbiter launch replay

Video: 00:00:00 Watch a replay of the launch of Solar Orbiter, ESA’s new Sun-exploring spacecraft, which will look at our parent star from a completely new perspective. The satellite was lofted to space by the US Atlas V 411 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 10 February 2020. Solar Orbiter […]

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