Parker Solar Probe completes 19th close flyby of the Sun

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 08-04-2024 11:54 IST | Created: 08-04-2024 11:54 IST
Parker Solar Probe completes 19th close flyby of the Sun
Image Credit: Twitter (@NASA)
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NASA's Parker Solar Probe recently completed its 19th close flyby of the Sun. During this close approach, known as perihelion, the spacecraft came about 4.51 million miles (7.26 million kilometers) from the solar surface - a remarkable feat that equals the spacecraft's own record for the closest distance a human-made object has ever approached the Sun.

The close approach occurred at 2:21 UTC (10:21 EDT) on March 29, during which the Parker Solar Probe reached speeds of 394,736 miles per hour (635,266 kilometers per hour), matching its previous speed record. After completing the close approach, the spacecraft reported back to Earth on April 2, NASA said on Sunday.

The 19th close encounter, which spanned from March 25 through April 4, marks a significant milestone in the mission, signifying the halfway point of the spacecraft's journey around the Sun.

On December 24, following a final Venus gravity assist-flyby on November 6, the spacecraft is expected to make its closest approach yet, coming within just 3.8 million miles of the solar surface and travelling at speeds of approximately 430,000 miles per hour. This upcoming maneuver is anticipated to provide even more detailed insights into the Sun's composition, magnetic fields, and the mechanisms driving the solar wind, a stream of charged particles that can affect technology on Earth and in space.

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