Cluster news update
15 July 200010.00 CEST Last night, highly energetic particles from one of the largest solar flares on record struckthe Earth's magnetosphere and triggered an intense radiation storm in the vicinity ofEarth.
Just after the eruption, coronagraphs on board the ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) recorded a full halo coronal mass ejection heading toward Earth at greater than 1000 km/s. The fast-moving cloud of plasma is expected to strike the magnetosphere today.
However, after analysing the potential threat to the Cluster spacecraft, the project team agreed that the risk was probably minimal and would not adversely affect the mission.
Meanwhile, all is proceeding to plan at the launch site. Instructions have been sent to both Cluster spacecraft in ordr to place them in launch mode, so that their subsystems are in the configuration required at separation.
The project reports that the launch timeline is spot on, and everything is green for lift-off at 14.40 CEST.