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NASA’s Probe Captures First Image Ever Taken From Inside The Sun’s Atmosphere
By Izza Sofia, 14 Dec 2018
This image from Parker Solar Probe's WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe) instrument shows a coronal streamer, seen over the east limb of the Sun on Nov. 8, 2018, at 1:12 a.m. EST. Coronal streamers are structures of solar material within the Sun's atmosphere, the corona, that usually overlie regions of increased solar activity. The fine structure of the streamer is very clear, with at least two rays visible. Parker Solar Probe was about 16.9 million miles from the Sun's surface when this image was taken. The bright object near the center of the image is Mercury, and the dark spots are a result of background correction. Credits: NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe via NASA Newsroom
NASA previously gave you this mind-blowing ultra HD photo of the sun that lets you safely stare at it in awe. This time, the space agency has gone a step further with its first photo taken from within the sun’s atmosphere.
NASA’s ‘Parker Solar Probe’ has managed to get itself closer to the sun than any other craft before it, by entering its atmosphere to retrieve information for its mission.
“[T]he science data from the first solar encounter is just making its way into the hands of the mission’s scientists,” NASA announced. “It’s a moment many in the field have been anticipating for years, thinking about what they’ll do with such never-before-seen data, which has the potential to shed new light on the physics of our star, the Sun.”
During its encounter with the sun, the probe’s wide-field imager captured the first image ever shot from inside the sun’s corona. The image was taken on 8 November 2018, when ‘Parker’ was distanced 19.9 million miles from the sun’s surface.
The image features coronal streamers, bright loop-like ejections that form over active regions on the sun. If you look closely at the image above, you will notice a bright spot of light located under one streamer. That is Mercury, the first planet nearest to the sun.
‘Parker’ will be making its way closer to the sun to hit 4.3 million miles from its center, and will travel at speeds up to 430,000 mph during the journey.
The solar wind, the Sun's outflow of material, along with one-off eruptions of solar material called coronal mass ejections carry the Sun's magnetic field out through the heliosphere, producing space weather effects on Earth and other worlds. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio/Greg Shirah via NASA Newsroom
This video clip shows actual data from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory Ahead (STEREO-A) spacecraft, along with the location of Parker Solar Probe as it flies through the Sun’s outer atmosphere during its first solar encounter phase in November 2018. Such images will allow us to provide key context for understanding Parker Solar Probe's observations. Credits: NASA/STEREO via NASA Newsroom
[via PetaPixel, images via NASA Newsroom]
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