Parker Solar Probe Will Fly Closer To Sun Than Any Other Spacecraft Written 23 January 2018

The Washington Post reports that NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will launch this summer “on a journey that will send it skimming through the sun’s atmosphere at a pace of 450,000 mph – fast enough to get from Washington to New York in about a second.” The probe will fly within four million miles of the sun’s surface and “withstand blasts of 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit – while simultaneously maintaining the instruments on the other side at roughly room temperature.” Employees at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which built the Parker Solar Probe, last week “began one of the probe’s most significant trials yet: thermal vacuum testing.” Once the probe is on its way, it will investigate the acceleration of the solar wind and “two related mysteries: Why is the sun’s atmosphere hotter than its surface? And how do high-energy particles get sped out of the corona and into space?”
More Info (Washington Post)