The first images on the mysteries of the Sun were taken by Solar Orbiter. Last February, the space mission, the result of an international collaboration between ESA and NASA, passed closer than ever to the Sun and some ejections were detected by various instruments on board the satellite coronal mass. These are eruptions of particles from the solar atmosphere that explode in the solar system and can potentially trigger space weather phenomena on Earth. The announcement came today from the European Space Agency. A close passage to the perihelion of the Sun, on February 10, 2021, brought the spacecraft to half the distance between the Earth and the Sun and was “a unique opportunity that allowed the teams to perform dedicated observations, to control the settings. tools and much more, to better prepare for the approaching scientific phase “underlines the ESA. In full scientific mode, remote sensing and in situ instruments will continuously carry out joint observations. At the time of passing close to our star, the spacecraft was ‘behind’ the Sun as seen from Earth, which “resulted in very low data transfer rates. It therefore took a long time to fully download the data. of the close passage, which are still being analyzed “reports the European Space Agency. By a happy coincidence, three of the Solar Orbiter’s remote sensing instruments detected a couple of coronal mass ejections in the days following the greatest degree of approach. The Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (Eui), Heliospheric Imager (SoloHi) and the coronagrafo Metis devices – which has the Italian contribution of Inaf with the Italian Space Agency – have taken up different aspects of the two CMEs that occurred during the day. Solar Orbiter was launched on February 10, 2020 and is currently in “cruise phase” ahead of its main science mission, which will begin next November. ESA recalls that while the four in situ instruments have remained in operation for most of the time since launch, collecting scientific data on the space environment near the spacecraft, the operations of the six remote sensing instruments in “cruise phase” they are mainly aimed at instrument calibration, and are activated only during dedicated control windows and specific campaigns.