The Sun's Activity Could Peak 2 Years Early and a New Video Shows a Flyby of the Planet Mercury with AI-Assisted Music

BepiColombo Mission Captures Dozens of Images of Mercury

The BepiColombo mission, a joint European-Japanese effort, has completed its third flyby of Mercury, capturing dozens of images. The spacecraft soared within 150 miles of Mercury, capturing images of its cratered surface.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has created a video by splicing together 217 images from the flyby. The video provides a zoomed-in closeup of Mercury's surface.

The next flyby is scheduled for September 5, 2024, and will mark the separation of the Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the JAXA-led Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter modules into complementary orbits.

The main science mission of the BepiColombo mission will begin in early 2026, exploring the planet's surface and magnetic field.

The BepiColombo mission is a significant step towards understanding Mercury's composition and its relationship with the Sun.

Sun's Activity Could Peak 2 Years Early

The sun's activity is increasing, and experts predict an early solar maximum. The solar maximum is when the sun reaches peak activity in its 11-year cycle.

Solar physicist Alex James warns that solar maximum could hit by the end of this year, two years earlier than expected.

An early solar maximum poses risks for Earth, as it weakens the sun's magnetic field, increasing the chances of solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Scientists have observed an increase in solar flares and other unusual solar phenomena, indicating an early solar maximum.

Monitoring sunspots helps scientists track the solar cycle. The current cycle is outstripping predictions, with more sunspots than forecasted.


EditorDavid. (June 26, 2023). New Video Shows a Flyby of the Planet Mercury - with AI-Assisted Music. (Jessica Orwig,Morgan McFall-Johnsen). (June 27, 2023). The sun's activity could peak 2 years early, frying satellites and causing radio blackouts by the end of this year, experts say.

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