NASA details how it plans to 'touch the sun'

Pat Wise
August 12, 2018

Why send a probe to the sun? . As we continue to receive data over the next seven years, scientists will hopefully start to piece together a picture of why the corona is so hot and how space weather is formed, which is critical as we venture further and further into space. Those events can affect satellites and astronauts as well as the Earth - including power grids and radiation exposure on airline flights, NASA said.

This manoeuvre will expose the probe "to extreme heat and strong radiation" but it will also allow 'humanity to learn from the closest observations of a star ever made, ' the U.S. space agency continued. The point is, all we knew about the planets and space is what we were able to observe from Earth. Either the magnetic field allows for large energy conductions between the surface of the Sun and the corona, and when large energy discharges occur, they heat the plasma, or the heat conduction is produced by oscillations of this same magnetic field which will heat the plasma particles in the corona. "We want to see all the different things that the sun throws at us".

"This is a piece of heliophysics science we all really wanted for a long time, since the 1950s", said Bale, the former director of UC's Space Sciences Laboratory and one of four principal investigators for the instruments aboard the mission.

What was not available was the technology for surviving such a close solar encounter.

The Parker probe will get so close that the pressure from mere sunlight will be enough to flip the spacecraft around in less than a minute, Kasper said.

"NASA was planning to send a mission to the solar corona for decades". That stream of particles is now known as the solar wind.

The mission is scheduled to get underway early Saturday morning.

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With the closeness of the Parker Solar Probe to the Sun, WISPR will be capturing images with clarity like never before, he said, because those images actually pick up almost at the same point where the other telescopes loose resolution.

The Sun contains 99.8 percent of the mass in our solar system.

Parker said he was "impressed" by the Parker Solar Probe, calling it "a very complex machine". Perhaps the best part is that Parker, the first living person to have a mission named for him, will watch the mission he pioneered lift off, too.

As reported by the Inquisitr, Dr. Parker was the first one to postulate the existence of solar wind in 1958. His work revolutionized our understanding of the sun and interplanetary space. Zurbuchen and Fox also presented Parker with NASA's distinguished public service medal.

Parker's final trip around the sun will be in 2025.

"The solar probe is going to a region of space that has never been explored before", Parker said.

"We've looked at it", said Nicola Fox who is among the scientists working with NASA on the probe". I'm sure that there will be some surprises.

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