Published on Apr 4, 2019
NASA's Parker Solar Probe will plunge into the sun's corona later today making history as it continues its fiery descent towards our star. The probe, roughly the size of a family hatchback, has already come closer to the sun than any other man-made object and is now just 15 million miles (24 million km) away from its surface. It will enter into its second of 24 solar encounters at approximately 11.40pm BST (6.40pm EDT) today and contend with extreme cosmic radiation - 500 times more intense than on Earth - and temperatures of 1,300°C (2,400°F). Current estimates predict it will be travelling at 213,200 mph (343,000 kph) - fast enough to fly between New York and London 39 times in one hour. The probe entered the sun's orbit in November and has been approaching steadily closer ever since. Its final pass in 2024 will be just 3.8 million miles (6.1m km) from its surface, when it will burn up. During perihelion, which lasts until April 10, the spacecraft's four suites of science instruments will be fully operational, storing scientific data collected from within the sun's corona — the outermost part of the sun's atmosphere. The four instruments are designed to study the sun's magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles as well as imaging the solar wind, according to the agency. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete... https://eu.floridatoday.com/story/tec...