Parker Solar Probes sends back first observations
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has sent back its first observations to the earth for scientists to decode the mysteries about the sun. The spacecraft was launched in August of 2018. It has completed 3 of the 24 planned passes by the sun’s unexplored regions. No other spacecraft has flown as close as the Parker probe to the sun. This flight has revealed new information about the star.
The probe studied the corona (sun’s atmosphere), sources of the different types of solar winds, nature of the dust particles surrounding the sun, etc. The corona is hotter than the solar surface and has temperatures reaching 1 million degree Celsius. The solar winds originate from holes in the corona and tend to move along the sun’s magnetic field lines. They are composed of charged particles like helium and hydrogen nuclei. There are two types of solar winds: slow and fast. The fast solar winds move at 500 to 1,000 km per second and originate from large holes in the corona layer, from the sun’s poles. The little known slow solar winds move at half the speed but are denser. The probe studied the origin of these slow winds. The probe also studied the dust from asteroids and comets surrounding the sun. These were smaller than micron.