NASA's Parker Solar Probe Spacecraft Becomes First Ever to 'Touch' Sun
"For the first time in history, a spacecraft has touched the Sun. NASA's Parker Solar Probe has now flown through the Sun's upper atmosphere – the corona – and sampled particles and magnetic fields there", NASA said in a statement on Tuesday.
#ParkerSolarProbe is our mission to touch the Sun, so it has to take a lot of heat. Watch this video to learn about the engineering that keeps the spacecraft cool, and head to @NASASun today for *hot* news about the mission! ☀️ pic.twitter.com/FORVCn8kbg— NASA Technology (@NASA_Technology) December 14, 2021
"Not only does this milestone provide us with deeper insights into our Sun's evolution and its impacts on our solar system, but everything we learn about our own star also teaches us more about stars in the rest of the universe", the associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, Thomas Zurbuchen, added.
"Flying so close to the Sun, Parker Solar Probe now senses conditions in the magnetically dominated layer of the solar atmosphere – the corona – that we never could before. We see evidence of being in the corona in magnetic field data, solar wind data, and visually in images. We can actually see the spacecraft flying through coronal structures that can be observed during a total solar eclipse", Nour Raoufi, the space probe's project scientist, added.