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Chinese satellite detects more than 100 white solar flares –

A Long March-2D launch vehicle carrying the solar exploration satellite Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), called Kuafu-1 in Chinese, blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, October 9, 2022. (Photo/Xinhua)

China’s Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S) – called Kuafu-1 in Chinese – has detected more than 100 white solar flares since its launch in October 2022, according to the Purple Mountain Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Sciences.

White light solar flares are a type of solar flare that exhibits increased radiation in the spectrum of the visible light continuum. These flares are typically high energy and can affect space weather, causing disruptions or interruptions in ground communications and disrupting the normal operation of spacecraft.

Before the launch of ASO-S, the observation and reporting of white solar flares was limited to about 300 cases, which constituted a relatively small portion of the total number of solar flares.

The satellite research team analyzed 205 high-energy outbursts that occurred between October 2022 and May 2023. Among them, 49 white-light flares were identified, resulting in a white-light flare rate of 24 percent, which is significantly higher than previously observed data.

ASO-S’s observational data shows that white-light flares are not as rare as previously thought, said Gan Weiqun, chief scientist of the KuaFu-1 mission and a researcher at the Purple Mountain Observatory.

The satellite team will continue to combine multi-wavelength observations from other satellites for a comprehensive study of white light flares to provide a theoretical basis for the country’s space weather forecasts, Gan said.

ASO-S is a comprehensive solar observation satellite used for solar research. It was officially transferred to the Purple Mountain Observatory in September 2023.

Since launch, the satellite has recorded approximately 600 TB of raw solar observation data, providing a wealth of material for further research.

The new study was recently published in the journals Solar Physics and The Astrophysical Journal Letters.