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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Switchbacks Science: Explaining Parker Solar Probe’s Magnetic Puzzle

9 Mar 2021, 15:00 UTC
Switchbacks Science: Explaining Parker Solar Probe’s Magnetic Puzzle NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Conceptual Image Lab/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez

When NASA’s Parker Solar Probe sent back the first observations from its voyage to the Sun, scientists found signs of a wild ocean of currents and waves quite unlike the near-Earth space much closer to our planet. This ocean was spiked with what became known as switchbacks: rapid flips in the Sun’s magnetic field that reversed direction like a zig-zagging mountain road. 

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