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ESA’s Solar orbiter just got smacked by a coronal mass ejection

The sun-exploring Solar Orbiter spacecraft came face to face with a massive eruption of plasma from the sun, just ahead of a pivotal flyby of Venus.

An enormous coronal mass ejection (CME), a burst of charged particles from the sun’s upper atmosphere, the corona, shot out from the sun on Aug. 30 in the direction of Venus. Shortly after that, the bubble of solar material reached Solar Orbiter, which was just preparing for its latest orbital flyby of the second planet of the solar system.

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