Fengyun 3E weather satellite captures first images of the sun

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An extreme ultraviolet image of the sun taken by China’s Fengyun 3E weather satellite. EVERYDAY CHINA

The images will help forecasters predict the disruption of communications on Earth

The Fengyun 3E weather satellite has captured its first test images of the sun, providing improved assistance in predicting solar activities and their impact on Earth and space weather.

“With the images, we will be able to better predict and instantly warn people and authorities about impacts on Earth from solar activities, including disruption of communications, navigation, and large-scale power outages,” said Zhang Peng. , Deputy Director of the National Center for Satellite Meteorology. a press conference on Thursday at which the images were released.

Solar activities, including solar flares, explosive events that release energy from the Sun’s surface, disrupt infrastructure functions by altering the Earth’s magnetic field and ionosphere.

As the sun is the Earth’s main source of energy, its activities also affect weather and climate systems, Zhang said, adding that people should always pay attention to solar activities.

The images can also provide more accurate data for space weather forecasting to ensure the safe operations of manned spacecraft and astronauts conducting spacewalks, Zhang said.

Zhang said facilities on Earth can only see sunlight in adverse atmospheric and weather conditions, while the satellite can detect other lights that directly affect the Earth’s environment.

“Like a scanner for body checking, the satellite imager can ‘check’ the sun all the time,” he said.

The imager, the first of its kind, can capture images of hot gases in the Sun’s outer atmosphere with X-rays, while extreme ultraviolet images show the Sun’s dark bars at a lower temperature. Combining the two images can more effectively predict solar flares, the China Meteorological Administration said.

By the end of this year, the administration will publish an album of photos taken by the satellite.

Data from the Fengyun series of satellites served 118 countries, the administration said.

China launched Fengyun 3E, the world’s first early morning weather satellite for civilian use, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on July 5.

It belongs to the group of polar-orbiting satellites, which pass over the north and south poles in a sun-synchronous north-south ellipse, passing through locations on Earth at the same local time.

One side of the satellite faces the sun all the time, making it suitable for monitoring solar activities, Zhang said.

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