First data by a Solar Orbiter device arrived on Earth on Thursday. It confirmed to the international science teams that the magnetometer attached to it is functioning. ESA’s latest Sun-exploring spaceship lifted off on February 10.
It transported ten scientific tools; four of them were developed to measure the stream of charged particles emerging from the Sun and the electromagnetic features of the solar wind. Also, three of them “in situ” tools got some sensors placed on the 4.4m-long boom.
Witnessing Magnetic Field As Boom Expands
Ground observers at the ESOC (European Space Operations Center) in Germany, shifted on the magnetometer’s two sensors almost 21 hours after launch. The device registered data previously, during, and after the boom’s expansion, letting the researchers get the control of the spaceship on measurements in the space area.
“The data we received shows how the magnetic field decreases from the vicinity of the spacecraft to where the instruments are actually deployed,” stated Tim.
As the titanium/carbon-fiber blast stretched out over an almost 30-minute period, approximately three days after launch, the researchers could notice the range of the magnetic field drop by nearly one level of magnitude. While at the start, they observed the magnetic field of the spaceship, in the end, they saw the first sight of the significantly lower magnetic field in the around the environment.
Getting Ready for Science
The Solar Orbiter also transports six remote-detecting tools, mostly telescopes, that will be displaying the Sun’s ground at different wavelengths, getting the closest-ever glimpses of our host star. The mix of both sets of tools will let researchers connect what occurs on the Sun to the phenomenon examined in the solar flow.
It would also allow them to understand mysteries, such as the 11-year cycle of cosmic motion, the generation of the Sun’s magnetic field, and how solar wind fragments are hastened to powerful energies.