NASA Parker Solar Probe has started gathering the data from the sun. It was launched for a seven-year mission to study the Sun in August 2018. It has entered into the sun’s outer atmosphere Corona. This feat is unprecedented and it was expected that the probe will gather data for about 11 days.
But as the spacecraft is working perfectly, the scientists have increased its duration of observation in successive orbits. This extra observation has unveiled some of the new phenomena in the streams of charged particles flowing off the sun, called the solar wind, farther away from the sun.
Therefore, the additional extension for this spacecraft will continue through June 28.
“We have a real opportunity here to see what’s going on in these regions further from the sun’s corona,” Nour Raouafi, Parker Solar Probe project scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, said in a NASA statement.
“While our primary goal is to understand the mysteries at the sun’s corona and the ‘young’ solar wind closer to the sun, there is evidence indicating very interesting physics to explore earlier in the orbit and link that to what occurs near the sun,” Raouafi said. “We can gather this data and see what it yields.”
The Parker Solar Probe turned on its instruments when it was nearly 62.5 million miles away from the sun. The spacecraft will be closest in this orbit about 11.6 million miles away from the sun. Also, its closest approach will put it more closer to the sun by the end of the mission. It will be 4 million miles away from the sun.