Last year NASA’s Parker Solar Probe flew nearer to the sun than any satellite in history, collecting a spectacular trove of information from the very fringe of the sun’s million-degree corona.
Now, that knowledge has allowed solar physicists to map the supply of a significant element of the solar wind that regularly peppers Earth’s environment, whereas revealing unusual magnetic field reversals that could possibly be accelerating these particles towards our planet.
These accelerated particles interact with Earth’s magnetic subject, producing the colorful northern and southern lights. However, additionally, they have the potential to damage the electrical grid and telecommunications networks on Earth’s floor, threaten orbiting satellites, and maybe endanger astronauts in space.
The more solar physicists perceive concerning the magnetic surroundings of the solar and the way it flings solar wind particles towards the planets, the higher they are going to be capable of predict occasions and prevent damage. The journal Nature will publish these findings on-line on Dec. 4 in one in every of 4 papers describing all the new findings from the probe’s 2018 close encounter with the solar. All four papers will seem within the Dec. 12 print edition of the journal.
One of many most important goals of the Parker Solar Probe is to find the supply of the “slow” solar wind and the way it’s accelerated within the hot environment of the sun—the 1 million-degree Celsius (about 2 million levels Fahrenheit) solar corona.
Bale will talk about outcomes from the first close encounter and compare them to these of the two subsequent close encounters in talks on the upcoming American Geophysical Union assembly in San Francisco that begins Dec. 8.