parker solar probe

Parker Solar Probe

Nasa Launches Parker Solar Probe today using DeltaIV Heavy Rocket which will go 7 times closer than any probe sent till date. It is named after astrophysicist Eugene Parker, 91, who first described solar wind in 1958.

Eugene ParkerYesterday was the original launch date, but the last-minute alarm caused the agency to miss its 65-minute weather window or some technical glitches I do not know. So it was launched today at 03:31 local time (07:31 GMT). This $1.5 billion mission will take us closet to our sun than ever before, Parker probe will be the first to flyby sun’s corona, which is the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere. It is expected to reach the sun in november.

This probe has a protecting 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield which can withstand temperature around 1371° C. It is a 7 year mission which means will be closest to sun in 2024 and the probe will be travelling at a speed of 430,000 mph, which will set a new record speed for a manmade object.

parker probe orbitParker Probe path will be little unusual, the probe will take gravity assist from venus and will orbit 24 times in an elliptical way. The orbit of the probe will get smaller and smaller and total of 6 flyby of venus will be done, until final 3 orbit when the probe is to the closest to the sun which is 3.8 million miles to the surface of the sun. Before this Helios 2 came around 27 million miles of the surface of the sun. The average distance between sun and earth is 93 million miles in case you are wondering.

What will Parker Solar Probe do?

  • The main goal is to understand our Sun and how does it work and also unlock the mysteries of corona
  • Trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind
  • Determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind
  • Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles

This study will help us predict the solar events which occur here on earth, and also help us predict any warning for the future space travel manned or unmanned.

I will write what Parker solar probe found as I know more

Also published on Medium.