NASA's Parker Solar Probe will plunge into the solar corona even today, making history as it continues its igneous descent toward our star.
The Parker spacecraft, about the size of a family hatchback, is officially the closest object of man to the surface of the Sun and is only 24 million kilometers away from its surface.
He will enter his second of the 24 solar gatherings at approximately 11:40 a.m. and face extreme cosmic radiation – 500 times more intense than on Earth – and temperatures of 1300 ° C (2400 ° F).
Current estimates say he will be traveling at 213,200 mph (343,000 km / h) – fast enough to fly between New York and London 39 times in an hour.
The first meeting was held in November and the spacecraft is expected to firmly close the distance to the sun until its final crossing in 2024, where it will be only 3.8 million kilometers from its surface.
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NASA's Parker Solar Probe has begun its second orbit of the sun. The spacecraft took off in August on a historic mission to get closer to our star than any spacecraft ever did. The impression of an artist is portrayed
NASA designed the probe to protect its fragile internal instruments against harsh conditions and divert most of the heat from the sun.
The US space agency hopes to maintain an internal temperature of 29 ° C (84 ° F) and make vital measurements of the crown to undo the mystique around our nearest star.
For example, scientists hope to receive vital data to help explain a long-standing mystery among physicists – why the crown is 300 warmer than the surface of the sun.
Our star still presents many unanswered questions, among which the main one is the ability to produce such violent feathers of material, known as solar explosions or coronal mass ejections.
How big is the SOLAR PARKER probe?
Casting weight -1,510 lb (685 kg)
Dry mass – 1,254 lb (555 kg)
110 lb (50 kg) payload mass
Dimensions – 3.3 ft × 9.8 ft × 7.5 ft (1.0 m × 3.0 m × 2.3 m)
These ions – charged particles – travel at extraordinary speeds, up to half the speed of light, before they flood all objects in the solar system and fill them with potentially fatal radiation.
The earth is protected by them by the thick atmosphere of our planet and by the strong magnetic field and, for the most part, they only manifest themselves as auroras in the north and south poles.
But stronger events are likely to affect electronics on Earth, with GPS and other services dependent on affected satellites.
"Parker Solar Probe is providing us with essential measures to understand the solar phenomena that have intrigued us for decades," said Nour Raouafi, a Parker Solar Probe scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland.
To close the link, local sampling of solar corona and young solar wind is required and Parker Solar Probe is doing just that. & # 39;
This cosmic encounter between mankind and the stars will last until April 10 and NASA will lose contact with the spacecraft during that time.
HOW TO FAIL ON THE SUN TO CAUSE CORONAL MASS ERUPTIONS?
Coronal mass eruptions (CMEs) are large clouds of plasma and magnetic field arising from the sun.
These clouds can erupt in any direction, and then continue in that direction, plowing through the solar wind.
These clouds only impact the Earth when they are facing the Earth.
They tend to be much slower than solar blasts as they move a larger amount of matter.
CMEs can be triggered when a storm on the surface of the sun causes a whirlpool to form at the base of the plasma circuits that protrude from the surface.
These loops are called prominences, and when they become unstable, they may break, releasing the CME into space.
Tornadoes of prominence look very similar to those seen on Earth, but are caused by twisting magnetic fields, not by swirling winds.
Despite being labeled as a tornado, recent research suggests they do not spin.
Parker's Solar Probe will complete a total of 24 planned orbits over the next seven years, drawing it closer and closer to the surface. The position of the probe, the speed and round trip time from January 28, 2019 are shown in the chart above
It will be completing its orbit and focusing its resources on keeping its heat shield in the direction of the relentless heat attack and charged particles of the sun.
A mission in the depths of the sun required materials capable of withstanding conditions unlike anything humanity has ever experienced.
Meet the astrophysical challenges required by NASA to create new materials with remarkable thermal properties.
HOW WILL PARKER'S SOLAR SLEEP WILL SOAP NEAR THE SUN?
The Parker Solar Probe mission will require 55 times more energy than needed to reach Mars, according to NASA.
It was launched at the top of the Delta IV Heavy of the United Launch Alliance, one of the world's most powerful rockets, with a third phase attached.
But its trajectory and speed are critical to reaching the correct orbit.
Because the Earth, and everything else, is traveling at 67,000 miles per hour in a direction that sits sideways to the sun, the spacecraft should be thrown back to cancel the lateral movement, NASA explains.
The Parker spacecraft is going beyond the sun, so it will need to remove about 53,000 miles per hour, according to the space agency.
This will require a boost from the powerful Delta IV rocket, and various gravity helps Venus slow it down.
The probe will feature a series of Venus gravitational assists to slow down its lateral movement, allowing it to be only 3.8 million kilometers away from the surface of the sun.
"In this case, rather than accelerating the spacecraft, as in a typical gravitational assist, Venus slows its lateral movement so the spacecraft can approach the sun," Nasa explains.
"When it finally comes close, the Parker Solar Probe will have lost a lot of its lateral speed, but gained a great general speed thanks to the sun's gravity.
"Parker Solar Probe will surpass the sun at 430,000 miles per hour."
In its closest approach, it will be only 3.8 million kilometers from the surface of the Sun, making it the only spacecraft to venture so close.
A carbon composite shell of 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) thick was developed, which is mounted on the probe and provides most of its protection.
NASA expects to begin receiving a small stream of pass data over an extended period of several weeks later this spring.
Parker became the closest object made by humans to orbit the sun in October, when it surpassed the best previous effort of the Helios 2 probe.
It reached 26.55 million miles (42.7 million km) of the star in 1976 and the record stayed for more than 60 years, until Parker easily surpassed this mark and is now 15 million miles of km) of the sun.
The closest that will reach the sun will be on Christmas Eve 2024, where it is expected to be only 3.9 million miles (6.3 million km) from the surface, more than seven times more than Helios 2 reached and only four percent of the distance between the sun and the Earth.
Achieving this closeness to the sun required NASA to be creative with Parker's designed overhang and the engineers figured out a way to manipulate the orbit of Venus and place them ever closer to the sun.
The ship is named after Dr. Eugene Parker, who first predicted the existence of the solar wind in 1958, and is the only living person who ever had a NASA mission named by them.
The probe is also hauling the names of more than 1.1 million people who signed up to send their names to the sun.
WHAT IS NASA'S SOLAR PARKER PROBE?
The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is scheduled to travel seven times closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before it
NASA's Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is expected to travel seven times closer to the Sun than any previous spacecraft.
It was released from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on top of an Atlas V rocket from the United Launch Alliance on August 12, 2018.
The probe will fly into the outer atmosphere of the sun to study the life of stars and their climatic events.
The PSP is expected to help scientists better understand solar flares – brief eruptions of intense high-energy radiation from the surface of the sun that can knock communications on Earth.
The spacecraft will dive about 6 million miles (6.5 million km) from the Sun's surface – bringing it seven times closer to the surface of the Sun than any previous spacecraft.
The spacecraft will face extremes of heat and radiation and reach speeds of up to 430,000 miles per hour (700,000 km / h) on its closest star flight.
The spacecraft's kit includes a white light sensor called Whisper, which takes pictures of the solar waves as the vehicle propels them at high speed.
To measure the bulk plasma & # 39; of solar winds – described by NASA as the "bread and butter" of bonfires – a set of magnetic imaging equipment will also be stored on board.