Recently, the Parker Solar Probe completed its voyage near the Sun and it will share information about the star’s behavior. This flight is part of an important mission coordinated by NASA. The first image was taken on November 8th and it was made public thanks to the Wide-Field Imager for Solar Probe (also known as WISPR).
The instrument is a part of the same Parker Solar Probe and shows a bright structure developing over active regions from the Sun. In fact, we could be looking at a coronal streamer, according to the scientists’ opinion. The picture shared initially also shows a bright point close to the center and this has proven to be Mercury.
The Sun’s behavior will be analysed with the help of images sent by Parker Solar Probe
No other spacecraft managed to get this close to the Sun before Parker. Throughout its mission, the probe will orbit around the star 24 times and the final flight will bring Parker 3.7 million miles (or 6 million kilometres) away from the sun’s surface.
This distance is one-eight shorter than the area between the Sun and Mercury and it is the closest it can get. However, it is enough to capture data that can contribute to studying the Sun and its behavior in comparison to the Earth and the other planets.
Four researchers involved in this mission gathered in Washington, D.C to discuss about Parker’s Solar Probe initial success. Their meeting took place on December 12th during the AGU (the American Geophysical Union). Nicky Fox, director of NASA’s Heliophysics Division said that, according to the initial evaluation, the images show an apocalyptical scenario: plasma emerging from millions of degrees.
However, NASA is not going to stop here, because the mission is finally starting to get on the right track. They will share more information as soon as they find out more.