About the PROBA2 Science Center

PROBA2 The PROBA2 Science Center, located at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, oversees scientific operations and data processing for ESA's PROBA2 spacecraft. The P2SC is the primary archive and distribution center for data from SWAP and LYRA, as well as the primary maintainer of calibration tools, data analysis software, and additional instrument data. The P2SC is also home to the science operations center, where instrument observing plans are devised and, with the help of ESA's Spacecraft Operations Center in Redu, Belgium, loaded onto the spacecraft. Finally, the P2SC serves as the main site for coordination of the PROBA2 Science Working Team, coordinating special scientific campaigns, supporting science data users and guest investigators, and organizing PROBA2 outreach efforts.

PROBA2 is a small ESA satellite with a scientific mission to explore the active Sun and its effect on the near-earth environment and a broader mission to provide a test platform for new instrument and platform technology. The mission overview page provides additional information about PROBA2 and its on board instrumentation and advanced platform technology.

If you require special assistance, you can contact the instrument teams directly using the contact page on this site.

News

A Deeper Look at the SWAP Movie of the March 2015 Eclipse

To read about the PROBA2 eclipse observation campaign and see images of the eclipse, follow this link.

When ESA posted the video of SWAP’s observations of the March 20 solar eclipse on YouTube a number of viewers shared comments and questions about several unexpected aspects of what they saw. A few viewers were so surprised by what they saw that they even wondered if the images were really authentic. The images were most assuredly real, but nonetheless we on the PROBA2 team were likewise intrigued by similarly unexpected things that we saw in the observations.

Some of the questions commenters asked have straightforward — if not exactly simple — answers, while others required us to dig deeper and do some real research of our own to try to address them.

Among the questions raised in the comments were:

  • Why does the Moon move across the Sun from east to west, the opposite direction of motion from what viewers on the ground observed?
  • Why didn’t the Sun appear to rotate in the movies as it does in many movies from PROBA2 and other Sun-observing spacecraft?
  • Why did the Sun change so little during the movies? Shouldn’t there have been some dynamics visible in the corona?
  • Why did the movie play so quickly? Why were there so few frames showing the eclipse?

Let’s have a look at these questions to see what we can learn about the Sun, solar eclipses, and the PROBA2 spacecraft from them.

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