research newsspace

Parker Solar Probe beams back first observations from Sun’s edge

By 5th December 2019 No Comments

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which has flown closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft before, has beamed back its first observations from the edge of the Sun. This first set of data could help researchers better understand why the Sun’s atmosphere (the corona) is hundreds of times hotter than its surface, as well as shed more light on the precise origins of the solar wind.

These first results have been published in four papers in Nature.

The five French laboratories involved in the Parker Solar Probe mission are the Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie (CNRS/Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III/CNES), the Laboratoire d’études spatiales et d’instrumentation en astrophysique (CNRS/Observatoire de Paris/Sorbonne Université/Université de Paris), the Laboratoire de physique et chimie de l’environnement et de l’espace (CNRS/CNES/Université d’Orléans), the Laboratoire de physique des plasmas (CNRS/École Polytechnique/Observatoire de Paris/Université Paris-Sud/Sorbonne Université) and the Laboratoire procédés, matériaux et énergie solaire of the CNRS.

Read the news release from NASA.

Read the research papers: 

Alfvénic velocity spikes and rotational flows in the near-Sun solar wind. J. C. Kasper et al., Nature 

Highly structured slow solar wind emerging from an equatorial coronal hole. S. D. Bale et al., Nature

Near-Sun observations of an F-corona decrease 1 and K-Corona fine structures. R. A. Howard et al. Nature

Probing the energetic particle environment near the Sun. D.J. McComas et al., Nature