IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


24th December, 2021 Science and Technology


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  • In an astronomical milestone for NASA, their Parker Solar Probe flew into the Sun’s corona (where the temperature is roughly two million degrees Fahrenheit) becoming the first spacecraft ever to do so.



  • The Parker Solar Probe is a NASA space probe launched in 2018 with the mission of making observations of the outer corona of the Sun.
  • It will approach to within 9.86 solar radii from the center of the Sun, and by 2025 will travel, at closest approach, as fast as 690,000 km/h, or 0.064% the speed of light.
  • The Parker Solar Probe mission design uses repeated gravity assists at Venus to incrementally decrease its orbital perihelion to achieve a final altitude (above the surface) of approximately 8.5 solar radii.


Science Goals

The goals of the mission are:

  • Trace the flow of energy that heats the corona and accelerates the solar wind.
  • Determine the structure and dynamics of the magnetic fields at the sources of solar wind.
  • Determine what mechanisms accelerate and transport energetic particles.



  • Parker's insights, and those that come from other solar observatories, have direct relevance for everyone living on Earth.
  • The biggest solar flares from the Sun can rattle our planet's magnetic field.
  • In the process, communications may be disrupted, satellites can be knocked offline, and power grids will be vulnerable to electrical surges.
  • Scientists try to forecast these "storms" and Parker promises new and valuable information to help them do that.


Read about Solar Corona here: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/mysteries-of-solar-corona

Read: https://www.iasgyan.in/blogs/structure-of-the-sun