Remember when we said that our beloved Sun is sometimes nothing like the friendly and kind space object that we were taught in fairy tales when we were kids? Well, we have yet another confirmation that we were right.
Solar flares are ejected from the Sun pretty often, as they can range from a few per day to less than one occurring every week. Space.com now tells us about a recent solar flare occurring on June 13 and lasting for about three hours. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) of NASA, as well as the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), meaning a NASA/ESA probe, are responsible for spotting the cosmic event.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) June 13, 2022
The solar flare was associated with a CME (coronal mass ejection), a phenomenon that can even eject billions of tons of coronal material into space.
Back in February, NASA selected two new missions to study the Sun in greater detail: HelioSwarm and MUSE (Multi-slit Solar Explorer).
Thomas Zurbuchen from NASA, declared as SciTechDaily.com quotes:
MUSE and HelioSwarm will provide new and deeper insight into the solar atmosphere and space weather,
These missions not only extend the science of our other heliophysics missions—they also provide a unique perspective and a novel approach to understanding the mysteries of our star.
One hundred fifty million kilometers might not mean anything at an astronomical scale, but for us humans, it’s indeed a huge distance. It’s also the distance that separates our planet from the Sun, and getting too close to our star with a crewed spacecraft is certainly out of the question.
The Sun also represents over 99% of the entire solar system’s mass, and it has a surface temperature of almost 3,200 degrees Celsius. As for the core of our star, that’s where things heat up a lot more: the temperatures reach 15 million degrees Celsius.