A spacecraft orbiting the Sun made its first close approach, and captured the encounter in great detail, as the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar Orbiter entered the close encounter, known as perihelion, on March 26, coming at a distance of about 48 million kilometers (30 million miles). ), within the orbit of Mercury.

According to sciencealert, a website that specializes in recent scientific studies and discoveries, at this close, temperatures reached about 500 degrees Celsius (930 degrees Fahrenheit). In the future, perihelion is expected to get closer and hotter.

As it spins around its orbit, the spacecraft sees the sun like we’ve never seen it before, including a fascinating and mysterious feature called the “hedgehog”, and detailed views of usually hidden solar poles.

These new observations, taken with the Solar Orbiter’s 10 science instruments working together for the first time, should provide a wealth of data to elicit the Sun’s behavior, including land magnetic fields and the sometimes chaotic weather exploding in interplanetary space.

The craft has already seen a stunning high-resolution image as it approaches the sun. The European Space Agency (ESA) has now released a video of the encounter, for a solar probe view of our gorgeous star.

The Solar Orbiter is set to make a huge difference in solar energy science, not least because it can show us parts of the sun we wouldn’t normally see. For example, because of Earth’s vantage point in orbit around the sun’s equator, it’s very difficult to study its poles, only spacecraft orbiting around and under the sun can see those regions.

Polar regions are thought to be very important regions for solar magnetic fields that play a large role in solar activity. However, because the poles are difficult to see, we don’t know what happens to the magnetic fields there. With its suite of tools, Solar Orbiter offers unprecedented insight into these mysterious regions.

The solar “hedgehog” is another charm. Also taken on March 30, heliophysics have yet to discover what exactly it is and how it formed. It consists of a relatively small area about 25,000 km wide, which has been imaged with extreme ultraviolet radiation to detect activity in it.

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