Parker Probe Captures A Stunning View Of Earth On Its Way To Sun

Posted: Oct 27 2018, 10:32am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 27 2018, 10:35am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Parker Probe Captures a Stunning View of Earth on its Way to Sun
Credit: NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe

NASA's Parker Solar Probe will explore sun’s atmosphere and answer fundamental questions about our star's inner workings.

NASA’s iconic Parker Solar Probe is on its way to touch the Sun. On Sept. 25, 2018, the spacecraft looked back and captured a stunning view of Earth. The image was taken by the WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe) instrument, which is the only imaging instrument installed on Parker Solar Probe.

Earth appears as the bright, round object at the right side of the image, while a slight bulge in Earth indicates the presence of moon. Star cluster Pleiades and two bright objects, Betelgeuse and Bellatrix, are also visible in the low-left of the right-hand image and near the bottom of the left-hand image, respectively. At the time the image was taken, Parker Solar Probe was about 27 million miles from Earth.

Launched in August 2018, NASA's Parker Probe is the first-ever mission to the sun. The mission, named after physicist Eugene Parker, will fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere and attempt to resolve some of the most important questions about our planet's life-sustaining star. The primary goals for the mission are to study Sun’s outer atmosphere or corona and to explore the fundamental processes that drive the solar wind. The resulting data will improve our understanding of hazardous space weather events near Earth. These events can impact life on Earth and interfere with satellites in space.

Parker Solar Probe will travel closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history. Over the next seven, years, Parker Probe will use Venus’ gravity and spin around the planet seven times that will take the spacecraft closer and closer to the sun.

With 27 million miles, Parker has also broken the record for closest encounter with Sun, set by a NASA spacecraft in 1976. The probe will get within 15 million miles of the sun's atmosphere in November and will eventually fly through as close as 3.8 million miles from sun’s surface.

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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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