Parker Solar Probe Realized Second Close Approach to the Sun

Parker Solar Probe Realized Second Close Approach to the Sun

We already have many articles related to the Parker Solar Probe and now this time we have news from NASA. They mentioned that the Parker Solar Probe completed its second approach to the Sun.

On April 4, 2019, the spacecraft passed within 15 million miles of our star, realizing its distance record as the closest spacecraft ever to the Sun; Parker Solar Probe was traveling at 213,200 miles per hour during this perihelion.

On 29 October 2018 the spacecraft became the closest ever man-made object to the Sun. The previous record, 26.55 million miles from the Sun’s surface, was set by the Helios 2 spacecraft in April 1976. About the record read here “Parker Solar Probe Breaks Record for the Closest Approach to the Sun”.

“The spacecraft is performing as designed, and it was great to be able to track it during this entire perihelion,” said Nickalaus Pinkine, Parker Solar Probe mission operations manager at APL.Animation of Parker Solar Probe passing close to the Sun “We’re looking forward to getting the science data down from this encounter in the coming weeks so the science teams can continue to explore the mysteries of the corona and the Sun.”

Parker Solar Probe began this solar encounter on March 30, and it will conclude on April 10.

Parker Solar Probe is a mission some sixty years in the making. The mission is now named after physicist Eugene Parker, and it’s the first NASA mission to be named after a living person. The aims of the mission are:

  • Trace the flow of energy that heats the corona and accelerates the solar wind.
  • Determine the structure and dynamics of the magnetic fields at the sources of solar wind.
  • Determine what mechanisms accelerate and transport energetic particles.

Source: Text; NASA

Image credit: NASA