The Parker Solar Probe continues to break records. This week, the distance to the Sun’s surface was smaller than ever before: just 7.26 million kilometres. This was the 17th flyby of our parent star.
The spacecraft received gravitational pull from Venus on August 21. This caused the spacecraft to move directly toward the Sun at a speed of 635,266 kilometers. This was also a new record. By the way, the Parker Solar Probe is designed to take care of itself and its instruments while flying. The probe has a 11.4 cm thick heat shield, made of a lightweight and strong carbon fiber composite.
It is still unclear whether the space probe actually survived the flight. The possibility – of course – is very high, but today the spacecraft only contacts the American Space Agency for the first time since the flight.
In the future, the Parker Solar Probe hopes to actually touch the Sun. The final flight will be made in December 2024. Then the distance to the photosphere will be just over 6 million km.
Hopefully, the mysteries related to the sun will be solved
Scientists hope that the Parker Solar Probe will provide more information about our parent star. Our Sun contains 99.86% of the total mass of our Solar System. How do solar winds and magnetic fields on the Sun arise? How can the Sun’s corona be warmer than its surface? Thanks to the solar probe, this kind of question should be answered once and for all.
Thanks to the Parker Solar Probe, we’ve learned a lot about our parent star in recent years. The space probe has discovered a dust-free zone around the sun. The spacecraft also took images of the dark side of Venus, leading to numerous discoveries.
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