Parker Solar Probe of NASA glides by the sun in 5th narrow encounter

NASA’s bold Parker Solar Probe completed its fifth heroic flyby of the sun over the weekend.

The spacecraft has been carrying out a marathon of solar clarifications since May 9, as scientists allied with the assignment look to break more secrets about how the sun works. The scrutiny will go on until June 28, adding up to more than seven weeks of measurements during the fifth swing past the sun of the probe.

The closest loom of the orbit named a perihelion happened at 4:23 a.m. EDT (0823 GMT) on Sunday, June 7. During that time, the probe was about 11.6 million miles (18.7 million kilometers) from the surface of the sun and was moving at more than 244,000 mph (393,000 km/ph) comparative to the sun.

Parker Solar Probe was send off in August 2018 on duty to research the outer atmosphere of the sun named the corona. Parker Solar Probe is equipped with four diverse instrument suites in solving two central mysteries that the corona poses for scientists studying the operations of our star. 

First of all, the corona is scorching, millions of degrees and way hotter compared to the visible sun’s surface. Scientists desire to know how this area achieves such high temperatures. The solar wind arrives at unbelievable speeds in the corona, and experts also want to know how that procedure occurs.

The fifth Perihelion of this weekend is also the introduction to another fascinating event. On July 10, the Parker Solar Probe will carry out a Venus flyby. The exercise is one in a succession that is important to send a rocket closer toward the sun’s surface, giving the probe close views of the sun during perihelion passes. 

The July flyby will also be a significant opportunity to research on the Earth’s neighbor, as the rocket will go by just 517 miles (832 km) above the Venus surface. The flyby is expected to provide scientists with necessary information about how the Venus atmosphere trickles away from the planet in what they experts name as its tail.

The flyby is expected to push Parker Solar Probe nearer to its primary target during the ensuing perihelion exercises. In late 2025 when the mission is scheduled to end, the spaceship will be flying just 4 million miles (6 million km) away from the surface of the sun.