ESA is hard at work on an ambitious mission that seeks to learn more about the sun. Proba-3 will involve the use of a pair of spacecraft, with one flying the front of the other to generate an artificial eclipse. This eclipse will offer the opportunity to get a clear view of the atmosphere of the sun.
The current schedule anticipated a launch during 2022. Proba-3 is comprised of two small satellites that will be placed together in orbit. The asteroids will be aligned in a manner that contributes to the formation of a precise shadow that will last for six hours during a 20-hour orbit, allowing researchers to analyze the star.
Several parameters will have to be fulfilled to complete this goal. The alignment needs to take place with an approximate distance of 144 meters between the few spacecraft. The accuracy has to be within millimeters but a successful positioning will allow the spacecraft to complete tasks that are usually reserved for their larger brethren.
ESA’s Solar Orbiter to explore the sun more in-depth than ever
The sun’s corona, the scientific name for its atmosphere, covers millions of kilometers across the solar system. It also generates spectacular phenomena in the form of solar winds and coronal mass ejections, and both of them have the ability to affect space weather.
Some researchers hope that they will learn more about one of the strongest traits of the sun. While a temperature of 6000 degrees Celsius on the surface, the corona can be considerably warmer, going above millions of degrees and breaching the laws of thermodynamics.
At this point, the best method that can the to view the corona involves the brief interval of a solar eclipse or complicated tools that can interact to darken the sun disk. However, due to the way in which sunlight interacts with the blocker discs, the quality of the resulting images tends to be affected.