Parker Solar Probe to solve the mysteries of the Sun has successfully completed its flyby of Venus

What is Important?
UPSC perspective:
Prelims:Objectives
Mains:Objectives, significance and why study sun and its corona.
Non-UPSC perspective:
Why in News?
NASA’s historic mission to solve the mysteries of the Sun has successfully completed its flyby of Venus
Parker Solar Probe 

About the mission:
What is it? NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe mission will revolutionize our understanding of the sun, where changing conditions can propagate out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds. Parker Solar Probe will travel through the sun’s atmosphere, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions — and ultimately providing humanity with the closest-ever observations of a star.
Journey: In order to unlock the mysteries of the sun’s atmosphere, Parker Solar Probe will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the sun. The spacecraft will fly through the sun’s atmosphere as close as 3.9 million miles to our star’s surface, well within the orbit of Mercury and more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before.
Goals: The primary science goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles. 
The information will help researchers and scientists solve two longstanding mysteries:
* How the solar wind is accelerated
* Why the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, is so much hotter than the solar surface, NASA officials have said
* Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energy particles

Mission to end in 2025

The mission is scheduled to end in June 2025. The first data download from the Parker Solar Probe is expected in early December after the probe reaches its first close approach of the sun in November. “Eventually, the spacecraft will run out of propellant. In 10 to 20 years, a carbon disk will be floating around the sun in orbit, and it will be around until the end of the solar system,” CNN quoted Andy Driesman, Parker Solar Probe project manager at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, as saying.
Why do we study the sun and the solar wind?
*The sun is the only star we can study up close. By studying this star we live with, we learn more about stars throughout the universe.
*The sun is a source of light and heat for life on Earth. The more we know about it, the more we can understand how life on Earth developed.
*The sun also affects Earth in less familiar ways. It is the source of the solar wind; a flow of ionized gases from the sun that streams past Earth at speeds of more than 500 km per second (a million miles per hour).
*Disturbances in the solar wind shake Earth’s magnetic field and pump energy into the radiation belts, part of a set of changes in near-Earth space known as space weather.
*Space weather can change the orbits of satellites, shorten their lifetimes, or interfere with onboard electronics. The more we learn about what causes space weather – and how to predict it – the more we can protect the satellites we depend on.
*The solar wind also fills up much of the solar system, dominating the space environment far past Earth. As we send spacecraft and astronauts further and further from home, we must understand this space environment just as early seafarers needed to understand the ocean.
Parker Solar Probe to solve the mysteries of the Sun has successfully completed its flyby of Venus Parker Solar Probe  to solve the mysteries of the Sun has successfully completed its flyby of Venus Reviewed by The Hindu Current Affairs on October 10, 2018 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.