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ESA's Solar Orbiter
ESA's next generation explorer, launched on 9/10 February 2020
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ESA's Solar Orbiter Jun 2
Replying to @ESASolarOrbiter
…which means performing a series of tests and set-up routines to ensure the spacecraft and instruments are fully functional by the time reaches its first close pass of the Sun in mid June, and this of course takes precedence
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ESA's Solar Orbiter Jun 2
The 4 in-situ instruments are on and operating as planned while is crossing the tails of Comet ATLAS. After the end of the potential detection period, it will take some time to downlink and process the data. Meanwhile the mission is completing its ‘commissioning'...
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ESA's Solar Orbiter May 30
As Comet ATLAS 👇 approaches its closest point to the Sun, or perihelion, will be 44 million km downstream of the comet nucleus, passing through its ion tail on 31 May–1 June and its dust tail on 6 June. More info on this chance encounter:
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ESA's Solar Orbiter May 30
Where is ? Today, Saturday 30 May 2020, it's around 90 million km from Earth and 83 million km from the Sun. Explore the mission's journey on its way to study the up close with this interactive tool:
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
ESA Science May 29
En route to its orbit around the to study our parent star, will cross through the tails of soon. Follow this thread to find out how scientists are planning to make use of the chance encounter 👇 – also comets 😉
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
ESA Operations May 29
Replying to @esaoperations
"When crosses the dust tail (44 million km downstream from the comet), depending on its density – which is extremely difficult to predict – it is possible that one or more tiny dust grains may hit the spacecraft at speeds of tens of kilometres per second...
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
NASA Sun & Space May 29
Bonus science! This weekend, /’s Sun-watching will have an unexpected opportunity to study comets as it flies through the ion tail of comet ATLAS. Solar Orbiter will also pass through the comet’s other tail, the dust tail, on June 6:
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
ESA auf Deutsch May 29
🛰️Ein seltenes Ereignis. Der wird in den nächsten Tagen die Schweife des Kometen durchqueren. Experten der Mission haben dafür gesorgt, dass die Instrumente während dieser einzigartigen Begegnung eingeschaltet sind. 👇
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ESA's Solar Orbiter May 29
Replying to @CometIntercept @esa
Of course! A comet is also a 🛰️☄️🛰️☀️
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
ESA Operations May 29
Solar Orbiter will pass through the tail of Comet ATLAS in the next few days - could this do the spacecraft damage? 👉
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
CometInterceptor May 29
Some other missions are getting interested in comets too - the more the merrier! 🛰️☄️
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
ESA España May 29
En los próximos días, atravesará las colas del cometa . Los expertos de la misión se han encargado de garantizar que los cuatro instrumentos más relevantes estén encendidos durante este encuentro. único. 👉
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
NASA Sun & Space May 29
Replying to @esa @NASA and 2 others
Thread on how this opportunity came about and what scientists hope to learn from . ⬇️
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
ESA_Italia May 29
Un incontro inaspettato per nei prossimi giorni: la Cometa ATLAS - Un'occasione quasi unica per raccogliere dati extra!
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
UCL News May 29
In the next few days will pass through the tail of Comet while carrying instruments. Noticed by Prof Geraint Jones , this is the first unplanned spacecraft comet pass to have been predicted in advance
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ESA's Solar Orbiter retweeted
Prof. Günther Hasinger May 29
Another Science adventure!
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ESA's Solar Orbiter May 29
Replying to @AmazingSpace2
See details about the dust tail crossing in the article:
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ESA's Solar Orbiter May 29
Replying to @ESASolarOrbiter
Looking at an icy object rather than the scorching is an exciting – and unexpected! – way for to start its scientific mission, but that’s the nature of 🙂 Stay tuned as the spacecraft approaches its first perihelion in mid June
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ESA's Solar Orbiter May 29
Replying to @ESASolarOrbiter
If detects Comet ATLAS's presence, scientists could learn more about how interact with the solar wind – the flow of charged particles released by the – and also about the dust environment of our star, as the comet nucleus is inside the orbit of Mercury.
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ESA's Solar Orbiter May 29
Replying to @ESASolarOrbiter
Another challenge is posed by the comet itself! In early April, Comet ATLAS fragmented & its brightness dropped significantly. A further fragmentation occurred mid-May, making it even less likely to be detectable by – but the effort is still worth making
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