a-mission-to-touch-the-sun-with-the-fastest-spacecraft-in-history

A mission to touch the Sun, with the fastest spacecraft in history

New York to Tokyo in less than a minute, that’s how fast NASA’s Parker Solar Probe can go.

Designed to study the Sun’s atmosphere, the Parker Solar Probe will go closer to its surface than any spacecraft before it. Things are going to heat up real quick. science space science cool science space and science universe space science

An artist’s concept of the Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun. Credit: JHUAPL science space science cool science space and science universe space science

To understand why the Parker Solar Probe is being sent to the solar atmosphere, we first take a look at why its important to study the Sun and how it affects us. science space science cool science space and science universe space science

The solar wind

Contrary to the temperature at the Sun’s surface, which is ~6000 degrees Celsius, its outer atmosphere (the corona) is heated up to millions of degrees. And we don’t know exactly why. Such high temperatures result in a release of highly energetic charged particles (electrons, protons, alpha particles, etc.) from the corona, collectively called the solar wind. science space science cool science space and science universe space science

The Sun’s corona can be seen during a total solar eclipse. Credit: Zombiepedia on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
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