NASA And ESA Release Closest Images Of Sun, Glimpse Of 'Çampfires' Seen

Solar Orbiter/EUI Team (ESA & NASA) - Sakshi Post

The closest-ever images of the sun have been released which gives us a glimpse at "campfires" exploding on the surface of the sun. The images have been taken by the Solar Orbiter, a spacecraft operated by NASA and European Space Agency (ESA).  

According to the ESA website, the mission of the spacecraft is to study the sun up close and take high-resolution images of the sun's poles for the first time and also understanding the sun and the Earth's connection.

In a release, Holly Gilbert, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said that the images will "help scientists piece together the sun’s atmospheric layers”.

In the images, most notable were several small explosions on the sun’s surface, which an astrophysicist has described as "campfires", according to a report. Scientists think that they nanoflares, mini-explosions on the surface that are thought to play a role in heating the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, to much higher temperatures than the surface itself.

The photos also revealed so-called zodiacal light, or light from the sun that is reflected off interplanetary space dust.

The Solar Orbiter, which is designed to travel close to the sun as 26 million miles, has captured the images within 48 million miles of the sun. It is within the orbit of mercury now.

The craft is designed to take highly detailed images for the next seven years.

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