NASA send its probe to get as close to the Sun as possible. With its help, the humanity will learn how to protect the Earth from solar winds and solar storms. Maybe, you’ve heard that one of the theories of apocalypse says that we will burn under very intensive solar storms. To avoid such a scenario, we have to study the Sun thoroughly.
The Parker Solar Probe will take us closer to the Sun than we’ve ever been before. It’s the fastest man-made object ever – traveling at up to 430,000 mph.
“It will go into orbit around the Sun and during the next 7 years, the probe will be gradually working its way in and then when it’s at closest approach, it will be about 4 million miles from the surface of the Sun”, says Lucie Green, Solar Researcher.
That may not sound close but…
“If you think about the fact that the Sun is 93 million miles from us here on Earth, then you start to see, actually, Parker Solar Probe is going to a very close distance”, adds Lucie Green.
A special heat shield will help the equipment cope with temperatures of up to 1500 degrees Celsius. It will orbit the Sun, allowing NASA to study its outer atmosphere. It’ll detect how the Sun bombards Earth with something called the solar wind.
“It will sense electric fields, it will sense magnetic fields, it will sense particles that are rushing over the spacecraft”, says Lucie Green.
But why is it worth doing that?
Because solar winds can disrupt our radio communications and satellites. Parker will help us forecast these solar storms so we can better protect ourselves on Earth. It’ll also help us work out when best to see spectacles such as the Northern and Southern Lights.