NASA’s Parker Solar Probe ‘Touched’ the Sun and Sent Back Incredible New Footage

By: | December 20th, 2021

Image courtesy: NASA

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has become the first to “touch the sun.” It is a revolutionary achievement for the solar probe that was launched more than three years back. 

Solar Probe flew through the star’s upper atmosphere measuring sample particles and our star’s magnetic fields.

Solar Probe made its way through a feature of the Sun’s atmosphere called a pseudostreamer. Pseudostreamer are the huge ribbon-like structures that are visible during solar eclipses.

 “Passing through the pseudostreamer was like flying into the eye of a storm,” reads NASA’s statement. “Inside the pseudostreamer the conditions quieted, particles slowed and the number of switchbacks dropped — a dramatic change from the busy barrage of particles the spacecraft usually encounters in the solar wind.”

Probe not only took the required measurements, but it also sent back tons of images from its ride to the Sun. And they are thrilling. 

Scientists stitched together those breathtaking pictures in an incredible video:

These images were recorded by the probe’s WISPR camera. It shows pictures of its four days of travel through the Sun’s corona. The images are taken by the probe while crossing through the Sun’s atmosphere at over 142 kilometers per second. 

NASA explained, “As Parker Solar Probe passed through the corona on encounter nine, the spacecraft flew by structures called coronal streamers. These structures can be seen as bright features moving upward in the upper images and angled downward in the lower row,” 

“Such a view is only possible because the spacecraft flew above and below the streamers inside the corona. Until now, streamers have only been seen from afar. They are visible from Earth during total solar eclipses.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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