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NASA has launched the Parker probe, the first man- made spacecraft designed to cross the atmosphere of the sun, on a historic mission that will unearth the mysteries of the solar storms that hit Earth.
The project aims to collect new information about the "space weather" conditions that affect the Earth, what causes solar winds, the causes of giant bursts or the "coronal mass emission" observed by astronomers. The probe will also explore the sun's aura, the plasma aura that surrounds the star itself.
This unmanned probe will move closer than any other human- made vehicle to the center of the solar system,the probe is equipped with special shields to withstand the high temperatures in the solar airspace, and was launched aboard a missile in a mission that extends for 7 years, in order to reach the nearest point to the sun to study the solar field and the particles inside it and the magnetic field of the sun, and other things to understand all the details about the high temperature The solar field from the sun itself.
The first vehicle "touches the sun"
NASA described the mission as the first spacecraft to "touch the sun". The costs of the mission amounted to one billion and 500 thousand dollars,Scientists count on the probe Parker to be the first human device to closely monitor the sun, about six million kilometers away, a distance very close to this flaming star, which is 150 million kilometers from Earth.
The probe is about the size of a small car, and it carries devices intended to study the atmosphere and monitor the sun’s surface,the Parker probe will help us improve our ability to predict the solar wind that hits the Earth.
Discover the mysteries of the sun
A carbon thermal shield protects the probe and its devices from the enormous heat that will reach 1400 degrees, six million kilometers from the sun. With this burning flame, the temperature inside the probe will not exceed 29 degrees.
NASA chief science mission management Thomas Zurbuschen says the Parker probe is "a stunning hero to our scientific community," describing the mission as "one of the most important strategically" for the US space agency.
This probe is achieving a dream that scientists have been striving for sixty years, but it was not possible before to design such a heat shield that was made recently, thanks to the continuous technical progress, according to Fox. The instruments carried on the probe would measure the level of high- energy particles and magnetic fluctuations and improve understanding of the sun's corona, which is a "very strange environment unfamiliar to us."
The reason for calling it Parker probe
The probe was named after the American astrophysicist Eugene Newman Parker. The probe was designed to withstand the difficult conditions related to heat and radiation, as scientists provided it with a heat shield designed to maintain the continued operation of its equipment at a temperature of 29 degrees Celsius even with the vehicle facing temperatures up to about 1370 degrees Celsius at the nearest point it passes from the sun.