touch the sun
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe made history by becoming the first spacecraft to ‘touch the Sun’ earlier this year, the agency has just confirmed.
The tiny probe made its way through the star’s upper atmosphere, taking important measurements of its surroundings.
She even took the time to capture tons of footage during her stunning stunt, which scientists stitched together to create an incredible video of the Milky Way looming behind a stream of highly energized particles – a look fascinating and of unprecedented proximity to our star.
eye of the storm
The Solar Probe must have had quite an experience crossing a feature of the Sun’s atmosphere called a “pseudostreamer”. These are huge ribbon-like structures seen during solar eclipses.
“Crossing the pseudostreamer was like flying through the eye of the storm,” the NASA statement read . “Inside the pseudo-sled, conditions calmed down, particles slowed down, and the number of reversals dropped – a dramatic change from the barrage of particles the spacecraft usually encounters in the solar wind. »
Switchbacks are zigzag magnetic structures, the result of spectacular magnetic explosions that occur in the Sun’s atmosphere. The Parker probe recently discovered that they are a common feature of the solar wind, and not as rare as previously thought.
“We see evidence of their presence in the corona from magnetic field and solar wind data, and visually from white light images,” said Nour Raouafi, Parker Solar Probe project scientist at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics. Laboratory, in the press release.
It’s an amazing video, especially considering that the probe streaked through the Sun’s atmosphere at over 142 kilometers per second. What she discovered could forever change our understanding of the Sun.