NASA Probe Solar Parker has met the sun and lives to tell the story.
The sunfly spacecraft has already broken the records for the fastest space auditor and the nearest brush that any space ships have to do with the sun. Now the auditor sends data back to a near sun, scientists said December 12 at the Washington Geophysical Union meeting in Washington, D.C.
"What we are looking at is now completely new," said a solar physicist, Nour Raouafi, from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, in Laurel, Md., At a news conference. "No-one could look at this and so on."
Parker August 12 (SN Online: 8/12/18) and will make 24 close sun transport over the next seven years, entering about 6 million kilometers of the sun surface (SN: 7/21/18, t. 12). The aircraft flew first in November 6, spreading it into around 24 million kilometers of the surface of the sun. That is about twice as close to the sun as the nearest spacecraft, the Helios spacecraft in the 1970s. At peak hours, Parker raced about 375,000 kilometers per hour, twice as fast as twice as Helios.
But because the searcher on the other side of the Earth's Earth during the flight, Parker did not start broadcasting his comments until December 7.
After the spring came to the scene behind the sun, the Parker team first looked at the green solar atmosphere, of the crown name. One of the first images of the Parker camera shows unprecedented details in a solar nudr, a plasma filament in the corona. The team hopes that Parker data will help solve mystery why the crown is about 300 times as hot as the surface of the sun (SN Online: 8/20/17).
Only about one fifth of the data recorded during the initial flight of Parker will reach scientists before the sun goes between the Earth and the spacecraft again. The remainder of the data will be disclosed next year, between March and May. Scientists are hoping to start publishing results soon afterwards.
"If you're asking any scientist in the team or even outside what to expect, I think the answer would be, we do not know properly," said Raouafi . "We're almost sure we'll find a new one."