Home » News & Blogs » Early Results from Parker Solar Probe
Bookmark and Share
AAS Nova

Early Results from Parker Solar Probe

7 Feb 2020, 17:00 UTC
Early Results from Parker Solar Probe
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

What might we learn about the Sun if we could fly a spacecraft close enough to dip down and skim through its atmosphere? Thanks to the Parker Solar Probe, we don’t have to speculate!
The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is a telescope designed to orbit the Sun at least 24 times, dipping closer and closer to our star’s surface over its mission lifetime. Its first few orbits have already been completed at a distance of about 35.7 solar radii from the Sun’s center. Just this past month, PSP used the gravitational pull of Venus to drop its orbit to 27.8 solar radii — and by 2024, after several such maneuvers, PSP will be flying just 8.86 solar radii (that’s less than 4 million miles) from the Sun’s surface, soaring through the Sun’s tenuous outer atmosphere.
A view of the solar corona during the 2015 total solar eclipse in Svalbard, Norway. [S. Habbal, M. Druckmüller and P. Aniol]This innovative spacecraft will bring us our closest look yet at the magnetic structure and heating of this outer atmosphere — the Sun’s corona — and give us the chance to better explore the solar wind, the stream of energetic particles that flows off ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod