September 27, 2023
In an unprecedented achievement, the NASA probe "touches" the sun - 12/19/2021 - science

In an unprecedented achievement, the NASA probe “touches” the sun – 12/19/2021 – science

In an unprecedented feat in history, a spacecraft touched the sun. The Parker Solar Probe spacecraft flew through the layer of the solar atmosphere, called the corona. It was announced last Tuesday (14) by the US space agency (NASA). According to the agency’s information, the investigation was able to collect it Unpublished information about the star And future discoveries are expected.

“Parker Solar Probe” Touching the Sun “a tremendous moment for solar energy science “And a really cool achievement,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate director of the science mission guide at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Zurbuchen also said the event “provides deeper insights into the evolution of our sun and its effects on our solar system.” In addition, he explained that it is possible to learn more Details about stars from all over the universe And not just the sun.

The probe was launched in 2018 with the aim of investigating hitherto unknown details about the sun. Now, Parker is as close as ever to his record Spaceflight And although the flight lasted only a few hours, it was already possible to observe phenomena that were previously impossible to detect.

One of the discoveries, for example, was related to the magnetic structure of the solar wind – the flow of particles that reach the Earth even though it is 93 million miles away. According to NASA, in 2018, Parker discovered that these zigzag structures are abundant near the sun. However, at that time, it was not possible to show its origin. Now, with the proximity of the probe, scientists have realized that the structures originate from the surface of the Sun.

This finding may make it possible, in the future, to understand another question about the Sun: Why is the corona much warmer compared to the deeper solar surface?

In addition, scientists also hope that, in the future, it will be possible to find out how magnetic structures are formed – the new discovery made it possible only to confirm their origin, but not how their appearance works.

The expectation is that others space travel Parker events are happening soon, enabling new responses. The next date is scheduled for January 2022, but it is not yet certain that the probe will be able to reach the sun’s atmosphere.

“I’m excited to see what Parker has discovered as he repeatedly passes through the corona over the next few years,” said Nicola Fox, director of the Solar Physics Division at NASA Headquarters. “The opportunity for new discoveries is limitless.”