A NASA spacecraft has officially “touched” the sun, diving through the unexplored Sun’s upper atmosphere known as the corona for the very first time.
During a meeting of the American Geophysical Union Scientists announced the news, that the Parker Solar Probe actually flew through the corona in April during the spacecraft’s eighth close approach to the sun. It took the Scientists to confirm and get the data back.
About the Parker Solar Probe and when it was launched?
Parker was launched in 2018, and was 8 million miles (13 million kilometers) from the center of the sun when it first crossed the jagged, uneven boundary between the solar atmosphere and outgoing solar wind. According to scientists, the spacecraft dipped in and out of the corona at least three times, each time with a smooth transition.
What did NASA headquarters said ?
“The Parker Solar Probe “touching the Sun” is a monumental moment for solar science and a truly remarkable feat,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA Headquarters in Washington.
He further added, “Not only does this milestone provide us with deeper insights into our Sun’s evolution and it’s impacts on our solar system, but everything we learn about our own star also teaches us more about stars in the rest of the universe.”
Parker’s finding and discoveries
According to the statement issued by the NASA, Parker is finding new discoveries that other spacecraft couldn’t observe because they were too far away, including from within the solar wind, which is the flow of particles from the Sun that can affect us on Earth.
Parker Solar Probe has now travelled close enough to identify one spot where they originate the solar surface, after halving the distance to the Sun since then.
Until its entry into the orbit in 2025, Parker will continue to get closer to the sun and dive deeper into the corona.