NASA-Made Object Enters Sun’s Space

DY365
DY365
Published: December 15,2021 01:38 PM
DY365

Story highlights

The Parker Solar Probe, launched in 2018 by NASA, became the first human-made object to venture into the Sun's atmosphere, known as the corona.

December 15, 2021: The Parker Solar Probe, launched in 2018 by NASA, became the first human-made object to venture into the Sun's atmosphere, known as the corona. During the risky maiden flight, the spacecraft sampled particles and magnetic fields emerging from the Sun. The probe's arrival into the solar world is set to unravel unknown features about the biggest star in our solar system.



"Parker Solar Probe touching the Sun is a monumental moment for solar science and a truly remarkable feat. Not only does this milestone provide us with deeper insights into our Sun's evolution and its impact on our solar system, but everything we learn about our own star also teaches us more about stars in the rest of the universe," Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA said.



Named after American solar astrophysicist Eugine Parker, the spacecraft is working to unravel the mysteries of our Sun. It will fly through the Sun’s atmosphere as close as 3.8 million miles to our star’s surface, well within the orbit of Mercury and more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before.



The spacecraft will fly close enough to the Sun to watch the solar wind speed up from subsonic to supersonic, and it will fly through the birthplace of the highest-energy solar particles.



NASA said that to perform these unprecedented investigations, the spacecraft and instruments are being protected from the Sun’s heat by a 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield, which can withstand temperatures outside the spacecraft that reach nearly 1,377 degrees Celsius.