This is a very big first in the short but rich history of aerospace. The Nasa confirmed a few days ago that the space probe Parker Solar Probe had just crossed the solar corona! For the first time, therefore, a man-made device has managed to reach the outermost layer of the solar atmosphere, after years of spiraling approach.
The success of PSP is considered by NASA (and by many astrophysicists) as a major step in the conquest of space: “Touching the sun with the Paker Solar Probe is a monumental achievement for science, a truly remarkable achievement” says with enthusiasm Tomas Zurbruchen, mission manager for NASA. This pure technological feat also heralds great scientific discoveries: the Solar Probe has thus collected crucial data on the composition of the solar corona, data which still remains to be analyzed.
The first exploitable return of PSP concerns the exact limit of the solar corona, a limit so far only deduced from observations and scientific analyzes. The sensors integrated into PSP thus made it possible to define that the outer edge of the solar corona was located exactly 13.079 million kilometers from the surface of the sun! Scientists are now awaiting further data on quantities of physical phenomena linked to the very specific activity of the sun, such as switchbacks (phenomena resulting from a rapid reversal of the magnetic field on the surface of the sun).
Parker Solar Probe will remain in the sun’s furnace for another 4 years before plunging into the heart of the star. Let us recall here that inside the solar corona, temperatures reach several million degrees. Courageous Solar Probe …