NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which was launched in August 2018, has revealed some surprising data about the sun’s corona, the outermost part of its atmosphere. The probe discovered that the sun’s magnetic field is more complex than previously thought, with an unexpected reversal in the direction of the field, suggesting that it may be generated in a different way. The probe also found that the corona is hotter than the sun’s surface, with its magnetic field potentially responsible for heating it to temperatures of millions of degrees Fahrenheit. The spacecraft observed large waves moving through the sun’s atmosphere, which could play a role in the transfer of energy.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Reveals Surprising Data About Sun’s Corona
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is a space probe that has been designed and built by NASA to explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona. Launched in August 2018, the probe has been studying the Sun for over two years now and has already revealed some surprising data about the corona.
What is the Parker Solar Probe?
The Parker Solar Probe is a robotic spacecraft designed to explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere, also known as the corona. The spacecraft was launched on August 12, 2018, and has been in operation since then. The probe is named after a physicist named Eugene Parker, who first theorized about the solar wind.
How does the Parker Solar Probe work?
The spacecraft carries four sets of scientific instruments that are designed to measure electric and magnetic fields, energetic particles, and the solar wind. The probe uses a heat shield, made of carbon-carbon composite material, to protect the scientific instruments from the Sun’s intense heat and radiation.
What has the Parker Solar Probe discovered about the Sun’s Corona?
The spacecraft has made some significant discoveries about the Sun’s corona over the past two years. Here are some of the most surprising discoveries:
1. The Sun’s magnetic field is more complex than previously thought.
The Parker Solar Probe discovered that the Sun’s magnetic field is more complex than scientists previously thought. The probe observed an unexpected reversal in the direction of the magnetic field. The finding suggests that the Sun’s magnetic field may be generated in a different way than researchers previously believed.
2. The Sun’s corona is hotter than its surface.
The Parker Solar Probe has also found that the Sun’s corona is much hotter than its surface. Scientists previously couldn’t explain why the corona was so much hotter than the Sun’s surface. The probe’s observations suggest that the magnetic field may be responsible for heating the corona to temperatures of millions of degrees Fahrenheit.
3. The Sun’s atmosphere is constantly changing.
The spacecraft has also discovered that the Sun’s atmosphere is constantly changing. The probe detected large waves that move through the Sun’s atmosphere, similar to waves in the ocean. The waves may play a role in how energy is transferred between different parts of the Sun’s atmosphere.
1. What is the corona of the Sun?
The corona is the outermost part of the Sun’s atmosphere. It is an extremely hot region, with temperatures between 1 and 3 million degrees Celsius.
2. Why is the corona important to study?
The corona is important to study because it is the source of the solar wind, a constant stream of charged particles that flows out from the Sun. The solar wind can affect the Earth’s magnetic field, which can cause auroras and other space weather phenomena.
3. How does the Parker Solar Probe protect itself from the Sun’s heat?
The spacecraft uses a heat shield made of carbon-carbon composite material to protect the scientific instruments from the Sun’s intense heat and radiation.
In conclusion, the Parker Solar Probe has been instrumental in making significant discoveries about the Sun’s corona. Its ongoing mission is expected to reveal even more surprising data in the coming years, adding to our understanding of the Sun and its impact on our planet.