What is Parker Solar Probe ?

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On Saturday, the US space agency will launch the fastest object ever made on a journey to our nearest star from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

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  1. Parker Solar Probe is Mission to “touch the Sun”

    As per Nasa “Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.

    In order to unlock the mysteries of the corona, but also to protect a society that is increasingly dependent on technology from the threats of space weather, we will send Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun.

    In 2017, the mission was renamed for Eugene Parker, the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. In the 1950s, Parker proposed a number of concepts about how stars—including our Sun—give off energy. He called this cascade of energy the solar wind, and he described an entire complex system of plasmas, magnetic fields, and energetic particles that make up this phenomenon. Parker also theorized an explanation for the superheated solar atmosphere, the corona, which is contrary to what was expected by physics laws hotter than the surface of the sun itself. This is the first NASA mission that has been named for a living individual.

    Parker Solar Probe will use seven Venus flybys over nearly seven years to gradually shrink its orbit around the sun, coming as close as 3.83 million miles (and 6.16 million kilometers) to the sun, well within the orbit of Mercury and about seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before.

    Parker Solar Probe is a true mission of exploration; for example, the spacecraft will go close enough to the sun to watch the solar wind speed up from subsonic to supersonic, and it will fly through the birthplace of the highest-energy solar particles. Still, as with any great mission of discovery, Parker Solar Probe is likely to generate more questions than it answers.

    Watch this video on Parker Solar Probe

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