NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Sends First Images To Earth

Posted: Sep 21 2018, 2:42pm CDT | by , Updated: Sep 22 2018, 12:57pm CDT, in Latest Science News


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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Sends First Images to Earth
Credit: NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe

Parker Probe will travel closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before and explore its outer surface.

Just over a month after launch, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has returned first data from each of its four instruments. The data include information on sun's electric and magnetic fields, particles from the sun and the solar wind as well as the images of the environment around the spacecraft. These early observations, however, do not represent actual key observations from the solar probe. They are part of the process used by researchers to confirm the spacecraft's instruments are functioning properly and that the first-ever mission headed to sun is alive itself.

“All instruments returned data that not only serves for calibration, but also captures glimpses of what we expect them to measure near the Sun to solve the mysteries of the solar atmosphere, the corona.” Nour Raouafi, Parker Solar Probe project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, said.

This particular image released by NASA is the first-light data from Parker Solar Probe's WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe) instrument suite. As the Parker Solar Probe gets close to the Sun, WISPR will be capturing images with clarity like never before.

NASAs’ historic Parker Solar Probe lifted off on August 12. It is the first mission that will fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere and reach closer to the sun than any other spacecraft in history. The spacecraft will be placed about 4 million miles from sun’s surface and explore sun's outer atmosphere in detail. The main objective of the mission is to collect data about the inner workings of the solar corona and to determine how energy and heat move through the corona and what accelerates the solar wind and high-energy particles.

To meet those objectives, Parker Solar Probe is carrying four instrument suites. The spacecraft and its instruments will be protected from solar heat by a cutting edge carbon-composite shield. During its iconic journey, the spacecraft will travel through the sun's atmosphere with temperatures of several million degrees, facing scorching heat and radiation. Parker probe head shield will withstand these extreme conditions and temperature fluctuations for the mission.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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