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NASA Probes Near Sun Safe from Triple Solar Eruption

• Denise Chow via Space.com
 

Two NASA spacecraft are safe and sound, after the sun unleashed three intense back-to-back solar eruptions in their direction, scientists say.

NASA's Messenger spacecraft in orbit around Mercury and the Stereo-A, which studies the sun from Earth orbit, suffered no damage from the passing solar storms.

On April 20, the sun fired off a solar eruption that sent huge wave of plasma and charged particles, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), toward Mercury. The next day, the sun unleashed two more CMEs in the same direction, and managers from both the Messenger and Stereo missions were alerted of the potential hazards should the CMEs hit or pass closely to the probes.

But, it appears both spacecraft made it through unscathed.

"The CME did pass by Stereo-A — we can see it in the data," said C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Other than that, we didn't see anything out of the ordinary."

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