ESA wants to simulate total solar eclipse via Belgian satellites | Domestic

ESA wants to simulate total solar eclipse via Belgian satellites | Domestic
ESA wants to simulate total solar eclipse via Belgian satellites | Domestic
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The launch of the two satellites is planned for September 2024, on the PSLV launch vehicle in India, those responsible for the project said at a press conference in Antwerp. By flying in formation perfectly and with millimeter accuracy, the two satellites will accomplish what was previously an impossible mission in space: simulating a total solar eclipse.

The scientists want to use the artificial darkening to study the corona, or the radiant rings around the sun. It concerns the outer atmosphere of the sun that appears during a solar eclipse. This is where solar storms arise that can disrupt the Earth’s electronic infrastructure. Without a solar eclipse, the corona is not visible because the sun is too bright. A solar eclipse normally only lasts a few minutes, but the Proba-3 should make it possible to study the corona continuously for six to seven hours.

“It is technically a very demanding experiment,” ESA’s Dietmar Pilz said during the press conference. That’s because the two satellites have to fly in a precise formation. According to Pilz, the experiment could fail if there are deviations of a few millimeters between the two satellites.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: ESA simulate total solar eclipse Belgian satellites Domestic

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