NASA's Parker Solar Probe Spacecraft Becomes First Ever to 'Touch' Sun

© NASA . Johns Hopkins APL/Steve GribbenIllustration of Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun
Illustration of Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.12.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NASA's Parker Solar Probe has become the first spacecraft ever to "touch" the Sun's surface by entering into its upper atmosphere.

"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.

According to the agency, such a milestone marks great new beginnings for the solar science industry. Touching the Sun, NASA noted, will help scientists explore the star's influence on the solar system and uncover more information about its existence.

"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.

NASA also said that the Parker Solar Probe will continue on its journey through the Sun's corona and will go on to provide scientists at the company with information that cannot be studied from the Earth.

"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.

The Parker Space Probe was launched in 2018 with the aim of exploring the mysteries of the Sun by travelling closer to the star than any other spacecraft ever before.
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