NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Close to “Touching” the Sun

Monday was the day when the Parker Solar Probe broke the record of 26.6 million miles that was set om 1976 by the German-US satellite called Helios-2.

According to Advocator, Parker has already surpassed this record and continues its journey closer to our sun. The probe will fly through the corona for the first time this week, and it will be only 15 million miles away from the sun’s surface.

Over the next seven years, the probe will make 24 close approaches and finally get the closest it will ever be – at 3.8 million miles. During this years, the probe will get closer to the Sun by following an elliptical orbit.

Parker Solar Probe Says Hello to the Sun on 31 October

On 29 October, Parker already beat the speed record that Helios 2 reached. Now it is preparing to encounter the Sun on Wednesday, 31 October. A few days later, the probe should reach the first perihelion at 10:28 pm EST – on 5 November (3:28 UTC, November 6).

The probe has been launched this August, so it’s amazing how fast it flies to the Sun. Andy Driesman of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, who is Parker’s project manager, stated:

“It’s been just 78 days since Parker Solar Probe launched, and we’ve now come closer to our star than any other spacecraft in history. It’s a proud moment for the team, though we remain focused on our first solar encounter.”

The mission is crucial for scientists to learn more about solar winds which create the beautiful auroras. However, these storms can disrupt satellites, power grids and rattle our planet’s magnetic field.

To learn as much as it can about the solar winds, Parker needs to get as close as possible to these eruptions. Thus, it will provide the information, and also take samples of the corona’s particle, and analyze the Sun’s magnetic and electric fields.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere