NASA uses a fleet of satellites to record huge sun eruption

first_imgThe sun is fascinating to observe due to all the activity present on its surface, and a 4 minute video that let us watch it spin for 3 years is proof of that. NASA used its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to capture the footage that made such a video possible, and now it has been used again to capture a huge eruption and coronal mass ejection on the left side of the sun.Such eruptions are by no means small, and the SDO can only view so much of the ejection. But NASA doesn’t just have one satellite looking at the sun, it has a whole team of them working together known as the Heliophysics fleet. So the data captured by each of these satellites was compiled and combined to produce the video of the May 1 eruption. You can watch it below:As you can see, the SDO field of view is quite limited when it comes to viewing an eruption. The rest of the data comes from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO). In the case of STEREO, the eruption was viewed from the far side of the sun as it is a third of an orbit ahead of Earth.To give you some idea of how powerful this eruption was, you only have to look at what SOHO was able to capture. On board SOHO is a Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronograph (LASCO) made up of three solar coronographs with nested fields of view (named LASCO C1, C2, and C3). Both C2 and C3 observed the eruption. C2 views up to 2.5 million miles out and C3 goes much further to 13.5 million miles. STEREO on the other hand was limited to just 6.3 million miles.last_img read more