|Manu||Date: Friday, 31-December-2021, 6:51 PM | Message # 1|
|Parker Solar Probe makes historic pass through Sun's atmosphere|
The US space agency (Nasa) is calling it a historic moment - the first time a spacecraft has flown through the outer atmosphere of the Sun.
The feat was achieved by the Parker Solar Probe, which dipped, for just a short while, into a region around our star that scientists call the corona.
It occurred in April, but the analysis of data has only now confirmed it.
Parker had to withstand intense heat and radiation but gathered new insights on how the Sun works.
"Just as landing on the Moon allowed scientists to understand how it was formed, touching the Sun is a gigantic stride for humanity to help us uncover critical information about our closest star and its influence on the Solar System," said Nicola Fox, the director of Nasa's heliophysics science division.
The Parker Solar Probe is one of the most audacious missions ever mounted by the agency.
Launched three years ago, its goal is to make repeated, and ever closer, passes of the Sun.
The spacecraft moves at colossal speed, at over 500,000km/h (320,000mph). The strategy is to get in quick and get out quick, making measurements of the solar environment with a suite of instruments deployed from behind a thick heat shield.
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