Interesting images: Gaia detects proton storm
The European Space Agency’s Gaia mission has been in orbit since December 2013. Its purpose is to observe more than a thousand million stars in our Galaxy, monitoring each target star about 70 times over a five-year period and precisely charting their positions, distances, movements and brightness.
Although Gaia is not equipped with a dedicated radiation monitor, it can provide information about space weather (and the solar particles and radiation) that it encounters at its unique orbital position, 1.5 million km from Earth towards the Sun.
In September, Gaia unexpectedly detected a large quantity of subatomic particles, called protons, that make up each and every one of us, emitted by a solar flare.