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A Russian Proton rocket successfully launched.
A Russian Proton rocket successfully launched the Eutelsat W3A satellite into orbit Monday evening. The Proton lifted off at 2306 UTC (6:06 pm EST), and the Breeze M upper stage separated 10 minutes later, placing the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit 9 hours later. The W3A satellite will provide broadband, direct-to-home, and other communications services to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The ESA/NASA SOHO spacecraft took a beautiful picture of an enormous prominence, 700,000 kilometres across, ejected from the surface of the Sun. An "eruptive prominence" is a mass of relatively cool plasma - only 80,000 C, instead of 1-2 million C in the upper atmosphere of the Sun. These are usually associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and can affect the Earth's magnetosphere when they come our way.
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