Solar Probe Enters Sun’s corona

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17 December 2021 Current Affairs:NASA’s Parker Solar Probe successfully reached the Sun’s Corona on 28 April 2021.

Highlights:

  • Corona is the Sun’s atmosphere’s outermost layer. Strong magnetic fields bind plasma and prevent turbulent solar winds from escaping.
  • Spacecraft had been flying just beyond the Alfven point before 28 April.
  • When solar winds reach a crucial speed, they can break out from the Sun’s corona and magnetic fields, known as the Alfven point.
  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is a spacecraft that explores the Sun that went up on 12 August 2018. 
  • It was launched to observe the Sun’s outer corona. It got as close as 9.86 solar radii to the Sun’s center.
  •  It will be at its closest approach by 2025. It is the only spacecraft penetrating the solar corona at a low altitude.
  • This project, estimated to cost US$1.5 billion, was announced in 2009. Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory designed and built the spacecraft.
  •  NASA’s first mission is to name a spacecraft after a living person. Eugene Newman Parker, a nonagenarian physicist, was honored with the name.

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