Parker Solar Probe, which was launched on August 12, is on an unprecedented seven-year-long journey to unlock the mysteries of the sun's fiery outer atmosphere and its effects on space weather. The plucky Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft before it, coming within 26.55 million miles of our star on October 29th, and of course it's still pushing onward. Its final close approach in 2025 is expected to get within 3.83 million miles of the flaming gaseous orb. NASA's Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the Sun than any spacecraft has ever been before.More news: The Latest Overwatch Character Is Ashe
"It's a proud moment for the team, though we remain focused on our first solar encounter, which begins on October 31".
The Parker Solar Probe will begin its first solar encounter today, continuing to fly closer and closer to the sun's surface until it reaches its first perihelion-the name for the point where it is closest to the sun-at approximately 10:28 p.m. on November 5, at a distance of about 15 million miles from the sun.
NASA has poetically described the Parker Solar Probe as a mission to "touch the sun". This autonomy is key not only during no-contact phases around the 24 planned perihelia but also throughout the mission, when the round-trip light time - the time it takes for radio signals to go back and forth between Earth and Parker Solar Probe - can be up to 31 minutes. Eric Christian, a space scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, told UPI last month ahead of the probe's launch.More news: German business unfazed by Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro
As said earlier, it has been just 78 days since the probe was launched. The Parker Solar probe flew 26.55 million miles away from the surface of the star on Monday afternoon EDT.
"The spacecraft will face brutal heat and radiation conditions while providing humanity with unprecedentedly close-up observations of a star and helping us understand phenomena that have puzzled scientists for decades", NASA says.
The mission is expected to revolutionize scientific understanding of the sun and its role in how it affects the Earth and the solar system.More news: Rio Ferdinand and Kate Wright announce their engagement