May 18, 2024

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The European Space Agency wants to create the first artificial solar eclipse

The European Space Agency wants to create the first artificial solar eclipse

the mission Proba-3 ESA would be the first company in the world to try something like this. The reason for this original project? Better understanding of sunny weather This is done by studying the sun’s corona, that is, the atmosphere surrounding it.

Satellites Hide And Coronagraph They will be launched together and after a month they will be placed in precise formation, at a distance of 144 meters or a little more.

As he explains in the following video euronews Mary Beckman, a satellite operations engineer at space infrastructure company Redwire Space, participating in the program, will fly Occulter close to the sun and line up with it to obscure it, casting a shadow on the coronagraph, in the same way that the moon casts a shadow on the Earth's surface during an eclipse.

This will allow only the sun's corona to remain visible so that the coronagraph can image the interior of the corona. If sunlight were not blocked, any observing telescope would be “blind” and unable to see the corona.

When image capture is complete, the satellites will break formation and enter a safe orbit, far enough away to avoid collision.

Solar weather forecast

According to the European Space Agency, studying the solar corona can help scientists predict solar weather, such as geomagnetic solar storms that can affect orbiting satellites as well as communications and power grids on Earth.

“This will help us understand many things, such as the origin of the solar wind,” said Andre Zhukov, a senior researcher at the Royal Observatory of Belgium.

The two satellites are currently being completed in Belgium, and will then be transported to India, where they will be launched September.

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The eclipse caused by the two satellites It will not be visible From Earth, the European Space Agency explains.