EUROPE - Orbiter Makes First Close Pass of Sun

Arno Froese

Europe’s Solar Orbiter (SolO) probe [made] its first close pass of the Sun, tracking by at a distance of just over 77 million km.

SolO was launched in February and is on a mission to understand what drives our star’s dynamic behavior.

The close pass, known as a perihelion, puts the probe between the orbits of Venus and Mercury.

In the coming years, SolO will go nearer still, closing to within 43 million km of the Sun on occasions.

Already, the instrument is catching the disturbances that result from big explosions on the star called coronal mass ejections—in addition to the everyday waves and turbulence that trace the wind’s structure.

One of the reasons the British group’s instrument got turned on very early was so it could start to characterize the confounding magnetic fields generated by the electronics in the rest of the spacecraft. This signal is small but needs to be subtracted from the Sun measurements to finesse the detail in the data properly.

The next major event for SolO is a flyby of Venus. This occurs at the end of December and will see the probe track about 500,000 km above the planet’s surface.

The full science phase of the mission is due to start in 2021 when all 10 of SolO’s instruments, including its imagers, will begin regular observations., 14 June 2020

Arno's commentary

Although admirable, man has no intention to cease his quest for the unknown. But, the unknown—that is, space—will remain unknown and is reserved for the Creator. Scientists who are so full of excitement and expectation, should carefully read the book of Job, particularly chapters 38—41. Note the 84 questions God the Creator asks Job, which he cannot answer. Verse 33 of chapter 38 states: “Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” Job confesses: “Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:3-6).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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