The first in history. Parker close to the Sun

Первый в истории. Parker приблизился к Солнцу

Probe Parker record flew close to the Sun

NASA has sent into space a landmark solar probe that first touch to our star. He has already sent to earth the first data.

Solar probe of NASA, Parker successfully survived the first closer to the Sun. The device has collected scientific data and set new records for speed among the artificial objects close to the Sun.

Parker first ever fly through the corona of the Sun actually touching our star. Корреспондент.net tells details.


First closer to the Sun

31 Oct Parker began his first closer to the Sun. On 5 November, reaching a record speed of 343 thousand kilometers per hour, it passed perihelion (nearest to the Sun point of the orbit) at a distance of about 24 million kilometers from the star.

“And it will move faster and faster at perihelion,” – said the experts of the mission.

November 8, the scientists on Earth received the first signal from a solar apparatus.

“Signal received – signal A – is the best of all possible, and suggests that Parker Solar Probe operates normally and all of his tools work and collect data and, if there were minor problems, they were solved by the apparatus automatically,” said NASA.

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Первый в истории. Parker приблизился к Солнцу
Scientists have received a signal from Parker / NASA

The probe broke the record apparatus Helios-B, which in 1976 flew to the Sun on a 43.5 million kilometers.

While Parker was in extreme conditions including high heat, impact of charged particles and radiation from the Sun. It protects cooling system and heat shield, under which hide all of the scientific instruments.

Finally, the first phase of convergence will end on 11 November and a few weeks later, the probe will transmit data to Earth.

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Landmark mission

The landmark space mission, NASA for the first in history detailed study of the corona of the Sun was launched on August 12. Space probe Parker was launched booster Delta IV Heavy.

The mission is unprecedented in the details of implementation. So the probe Parker, who received the name in honor of astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who described the solar wind, causing the Earth auroras and magnetic storms, for the first time in history, literally jumping into the upper atmosphere of the Sun.

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This device is the first in the history of NASA, named in honor of the man. Parker is 91 years old now, in 1958 he wrote a paper in which he predicted the existence of the solar wind (constantly emitted by the Sun stream of charged particles).

Then his theory was perceived by many bayonets, while the presence of the wind was demonstrated experimentally in 1962, in the course of the mission, Mariner 2 to Venus.

To the naked eye from Earth we can only observe a small part of solar radiation, so the Sun seems to us to be very quiet and stable drive.

However, our star continuously torn apart by powerful explosions, causing the streams of charged particles and electromagnetic radiation – so-called solar wind – fly billions of kilometers around.

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Первый в истории. Parker приблизился к Солнцу

The unit will approach the star at a distance of six million kilometres – or one-tenth of the distance from the Sun to mercury, nearest planet.

Yet the closest an earthly guest was German-American probe Helios-2, which in 1976 flew at 43.4 million kilometers from the Sun. The average distance of the Earth from the Sun is 149,6 million kilometers.

“Touch the Sun” – the motto of the mission, which will fly wherever in the history of space exploration did not fly any single unit.

Also Parker will be the fastest ever launched by man into space vehicles. His speed will be 192 kilometers per second.

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The probe will measure the electric and magnetic fields inside the Sun’s atmosphere to study the composition of the solar wind and capture the crown – the outside area of our star, which is millions of degrees hot surface.

Parker aims to answer the following questions:

  • How and why the particles of solar wind are accelerated to transonic velocities inside the corona of the Sun?
  • What is the mechanism of particle heating in the corona?
  • How to accelerate individual particles that manage to reach okolosvetovyh speeds?

“While we will not be able to explain what is happening near the Sun, we will not be able to predict space weather, as this can cause havoc on our planet,” – said on the page dedicated to the probe on the NASA website.

Prediction of space weather it is necessary, for example, for the mission to send the first humans to Mars, which will last three and a half years.

If during the flight the Sun will be fairly intense burst, all astronauts will die. On Earth from cosmic radiation we are protected by the magnetosphere of the planet, in the open space to escape from the solar wind is impossible – his sudden rush can destroy the electronics of the vehicle and cause irreversible mutations in the DNA of the crew.

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The mission Parker for up to seven years. During this time, the probe will make 24 orbit around the star.

The probe is protected by a screen made of CFRP with a thickness of 11 centimeters, is calculated for a temperature of about 1.3 thousand degrees Celsius; Autonomous sensor system will ensure that the probe was turned to the Sun that is protected by.

The staff of the applied physics laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, who created Parker, saying that before that spacecraft could come close to the Sun because of the fact that the technology did not allow them to provide sufficient thermal protection.


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