Parker Solar Probe Becomes Closest Spacecraft to Sun

Parker Solar Probe Becomes Closest Spacecraft to Sun

Yet, the spacecraft is gradually shrinking its orbit around the sun, with the final objective being 3.83 million miles (6.16 million km) from the surface.

The Parker Solar Probe is now expected to continue its approach, passing through the corona, or the sun's outer atmosphere, next week, reaching within 15 million miles of its surface.

Not content with just being the closest ever probe to the Sun, NASA expected the spacecraft to break a speed record on Tuesday night as well.

Helios 2 also set the heliocentric orbit speed record in 1976, hitting a top speed of 246,960 kilometres per hour (153,454 miles per hour), also in April.

Going forward, $1.5 billion mission of Parker Solar Probe which got a liftoff in Florida in August 12 is set to break all previous records. On the eve of the Parker Solar Probe showed the Earth from a distance of 43 million kilometers.

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Although the probe has broken the fastest of all speed records, going fast is just a side-effect of the mission's main goal, which is to get its array of scientific instruments as close to the Sun as possible.

That record was likewise set by the Helios 2 back in 1976, and it now stands at 153,454MPH. Nevertheless, the team behind remain focused on the first solar encounter.

29 Oct, 20:04 Moscow time the solar probe of NASA , Parker broke the record for the closest approach to the Sun. It will reach its first perihelion, or point closest to the Sun, at about 10:28 p.m. EST on November 5, according to NASA. Scientists expect Parker to reach a peak speed of nearly 190km/s (690,000km/h; 428,700mph) - but it will happen sometime in 2025.

This way, scientists will be able to forecast solar winds or solar storms that are known to create the handsome aurora borealis but also disrupt communications, satellites, or power grids.

The primary objective of the Parker Solar Probe is to study the solar wind. It will also gather information on the magnetic and electric fields of the sun, and it will sample the corona's particle.

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