NASA Lands on SUN’s Corona? Here are the top 10 Facts

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Did NASA Land on the sun? Did man-made spacecraft land on Sun or just close by? Here are the answers that you can understand even if you are not a Cosmo-geek.

illustration from NASA

On the 15th of December, NASA announced that their Parker Solar Probe has touched the Sun officially by entering the Corona of Sun. Sun has no solid crust around and Sun’s corona is the major boundary of the star.

Sun is the closest star to the Earth. But we really don’t know, what’s going on Sun. Since 1958, the Scientific community wanted to launch a spacecraft to the Sun.

Dr Nour Raouafi, a scientist from the “Parker Sun Probe Mission” says, “We didn’t have that technology for 6 decades”.

NASA Official YouTube Channel

But the technology to battle with the utmost temperature of Sun didn’t show up until the 2000s. After 6 decades from the initial discussion, In 2018 NASA launched Parker Solar Probe to discover the mysterious star that keeps us alive.

Launching of NASA Park Solar Probe / Credit: NASA
  • Parker Solar Probe is equipped with special shield which is tested for extreme heat conditions. It has been said that the shield was made by Carbon-Carbon formula. As we learnt, the strongest matter on Earth is Diamond also a type of Carbon. (illustration at the botton of this page)
  • Parker Solar Probe has a radiator. This might confuse you. There is a water flow and radiator to cool down the Spacecraft and it is been said that the water will absorb some heat that generates.
  • Parker Solar Probe isn’t linear mission and it is approaching Sun while orbiting around the Sun. When we are planning to land on a palent. It is straight forward. We are trying to decent as fastest as we can. In the case of Sun, it is hard and it is nearly impossible. Any attempt will destroy the spacecraft in matter of seconds. So, the NASA is trying to implent flyby orbiting to as much as low and it will eventually make so close to the Sun. (Image illustration is at the botton of this page)
  • In the first time in history, manmade thing “Parker Solar Probe” entered the Atmosphere of Sun, yesterday 15th of December 2021.
  • Parker Solar Probe could photograph the particals that contain the Solar Wind
Actual photos of the solar wind by Parker Solar Probe / Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Laboratory
  • Parker is trying to figure out how Solar Wind form and it helps to understand the Sun beyond theory.
  • Most of the today’s knowledge about Sun are just theories based on distance visual images that taken by orbit telescopes and the combination of known physics.
  • Parker is opening the practical knowledge and solid evidance to understand our Star.
  • Parker would face no more than 1,400 Celsius heat as it’s speed and the speed of solar wind would cooler down the maximum possibl heat. If Parker was planned to go directly to the Sun, it would be caught 6,000 Celsius in the same distance.
  • Now, the Parker Solar Probe is closer than 8.1 million Kilometers. And now officially, the Parker has touched down the the Sun and go within the Corona (outer crust of SUN).
  • Bonus Fact: On future flybys, Parker is expected to creep even closer to the sun, coming as low as 8.86 solar radii (3.83 million miles or 6.16 million km) from the sun’s photosphere, its visible surface.

NASA Video about the groundbreaking achievement:

Greenline is the completed orbit of Spacecraft and Red on ie the planned road. Image credit: NASA Blog
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