Published: Fri, December 06, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

First results from NASA's world-first solar probe mission

First results from NASA's world-first solar probe mission

"The first three encounters of the solar probe have been spectacular", said Stuart Bale, a professor of physics at University of California, Berkeley.

In four new papers, space scientists reveal how data from Parker provides new insights into the Sun's activity, which will help in predicting space weather - especially solar flares, which pose a real hazard to astronauts, satellites, communications, and even earthbound power grids.

The findings will also abet realize the course of in which stars are created and evolve, per the U.S. say company.

Thanks to extreme ultraviolet mapping of the Sun by other spacecraft, the researchers were able to trace the wind and the magnetic fields back to a source - coronal holes - that strongly suggests that these holes are the source of the slow solar wind.

(Nanowerk News) Our closest-ever look inside the sun's corona has unveiled an unexpectedly chaotic world that includes rogue plasma waves, flipping magnetic fields and distant solar winds under the thrall of the sun's rotation, according to University of MI researchers who play key roles in NASA's Parker Solar Probe mission.

December 4, 2019 (EIRNS)-The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission team presented exciting new discoveries today that the Probe has made, in its mission to "touch the Sun". Likewise, IS IntegratedIS (Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun) provided data on small, irregular particulate emissions that mix with the solar wind when it reaches Earth.

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"It's only there that we can really learn the details of these complex solar processes", Raouafi continued.

The researchers found that slow wind originates in holes in the corona found near the equator.

These accelerated particles are also responsible for generating the Northern and Southern Lights when they come into with Earth's magnetic field. Through these flybys, the mission has examined the dust of the coronal environment, and spotted particle acceleration events so small that they are undetectable from Earth, which is almost 93 million miles from the Sun.

Coronal holes, that are linked to sun spots, are areas that are cooler and not more dense than the encircling corona. "It's just the beginning of an incredibly exciting time for heliophysics with Parker at the vanguard of new discoveries". The erratic magnetic behavior could be linked to the solar winds that burst and splutter from the Sun, rather than flowing in a continuous direction. But as the solar wind changes during its journey to Earth, remote observations have left scientists with many outstanding questions about its origins and behaviours.

One of the challenges of studying the solar wind remotely is that it "softens" when it reaches the Earth and other space probes.

'The first surprise is related to the co-rotation of the coronal plasma as the sun rotates, ' says Dr Zank, who wrote one of four papers on the NASA data. By the end of its mission in 2025, the probe will have had 24 close encounters with the Sun - getting more than three times closer to the star than it has so far. That is already closer to the Sun than Mercury, but the spacecraft will get even closer in the future, as it travels at more than 213,000 miles per hour, faster than any previous spacecraft.

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