Skip to comments.New views of Sun: Two missions will go closer to our star than ever before
Posted on 05/17/2018 7:31:29 AM PDT by BenLurkin
NASA's Parker Solar Probe and ESA's (the European Space Agency) Solar Orbiter may resolve decades-old questions about the inner workings of our nearest star. Their comprehensive, up-close study of the Sun has important implications for how we live and explore: Energy from the Sun powers life on Earth, but it also triggers space weather events that can pose hazard to technology we increasingly depend upon. Such space weather can disrupt radio communications, affect satellites and human spaceflight, andat its worstinterfere with power grids. A better understanding of the fundamental processes at the Sun driving these events could improve predictions of when they'll occur and how their effects may be felt on Earth.
"Our goal is to understand how the Sun works and how it affects the space environment to the point of predictability," said Chris St. Cyr, Solar Orbiter project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "This is really a curiosity-driven science."
Parker Solar Probe is slated to launch in the summer of 2018, and Solar Orbiter is scheduled to follow in 2020. These missions were developed independently, but their coordinated science objectives are no coincidence: Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter are natural teammates.
Both missions will take a closer look at the Sun's dynamic outer atmosphere, called the corona. From Earth, the corona is visible only during total solar eclipses, when the Moon blocks the Sun's most intense light and reveals the outer atmosphere's wispy, pearly-white structure. But the corona isn't as delicate as it looks during a total solar eclipsemuch of the corona's behavior is unpredictable and not well understood.
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
Hopefully, they’re planning to go at night.
That will always be funny to me
Why not Icharus I and Icharus II ??
Besides, Icharus (the original dude) failed HARD.
The Flight of Icarus, by Iron Maiden.
Looks like my son will lose his status of having the best view of the sun on earth. He works at NASA Goddard on a solar observatory satellite team.
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