October 23, 2021

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Solar Orbiter captures its 1st video of eruption on the sun

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A sun-studying spacecraft nabbed its first footage of a solar outburst before its science mission has officially begun.

Solar Orbiter, a mission jointly run by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, launched in February 2020 and has made its first two close approaches of our star, most recently on Feb. 10. Scientists are still digging through that data before the spacecraft begins its formal science work in November. But they’ve already spotted something special in data from just after the February close approach: two coronal mass ejections, which occur when the sun spits large blobs of its atmosphere out into space.

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