The sun is a fairly active and difficult-to-predict star. It is not only a constant source of heat and light: sometimes huge flares occur on it, with serious consequences for the Earth. Recently, scientists reported on one of these solar events, which could be observed not only on Earth, but also on the Moon and Mars.
The solar event, called a coronal mass ejection, occurred on October 28, 2021. Just now, scientists have published the results of a study of a powerful flare in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
A significant amount of plasma erupted from the solar corona and spread during the journey through the Solar System so much that it reached both Earth and Mars, despite the fact that they were on opposite sides of the Sun, at a distance of more than 150 million km from each other. This event was photographed by various spacecraft, including the SOHO solar mission, organized by NASA and ESA.
The event in 2021 showed how radiation from this powerful solar event affected the environment on Mars. Data on this was provided by orbital missions — such as the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) — and the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers. The information obtained makes it possible to understand what kind of protection future colonists will need to survive in the conditions of other planets.
Danger of coronal ejections
The problem with such coronal ejections is that they are a source of high-energy particles that can be dangerous for both humans and electronics. Our planet has a magnetic field that largely protects us from this dangerous radiation. But it remains dangerous for those who live and work in space.
It is important to understand how this radiation affects the human body, as space agencies are planning future manned missions far beyond low Earth orbit — for example, to the Moon or Mars. Radiation can also affect satellites and radio communications — this phenomenon is called space weather.
“Space radiation can create a real danger to our exploration throughout the Solar System. Measurements of high-level radiation events by robotic missions is critical to prepare for long-duration crewed missions. Thanks to data from missions like ExoMars TGO we can prepare for how best to protect our human explorers,” explained TGO project scientist Colin Wilson.
Earlier we reported on how the Sun could severely damage the electrical networks on Earth.
According to ESA
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