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Solar Probe Plus

FighterJock

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Interesting to see that the Parker Solar Probe has broken its own speed and distance record while in orbit around the sun.
 

Flyaway

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Using data from NASA's Parker Solar Probe (PSP), a team led by Southwest Research Institute identified low-energy particles lurking near the Sun that likely originated from solar wind interactions well beyond Earth orbit. PSP is venturing closer to the Sun than any previous probe, carrying hardware SwRI helped develop. Scientists are probing the enigmatic features of the Sun to answer many questions, including how to protect space travelers and technology from the radiation associated with solar events.

 

Flyaway

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Article about the WISPR instrument, especially its imaging of Venus.

 

Flyaway

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Pristine PSP/WISPR Observations of the Circumsolar Dust Ring near Venus's Orbit

Abstract
The Parker Solar Probe mission (PSP) has completed seven orbits around the Sun. The Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR) on PSP consists of two visible light heliospheric imagers, which together image the interplanetary medium between 13
fdg
5 and 108° elongation. The PSP/WISPR nominal science observing window occurs during the solar encounters, which take place when the spacecraft (S/C) is within 0.25 au from the Sun. During Orbit 3, an extended science campaign took place while PSP transited between 0.5 and 0.25 au (during both inbound and outbound orbit segments). PSP mission operations implemented a variety of 180° S/C rolls about the S/C-Sun pointing axis during the extended science window. The vantage of the PSP location, combined with the different S/C roll orientations, allowed us to unveil a circumsolar dust density enhancement associated with Venus's orbit. Specifically, we observed an excess brightness band of about 1% at its center over the brightness of the background zodiacal light in all PSP/WISPR images obtained during the extended campaign. We explain this brightness band as due to an increase in the density of the circumsolar dust orbiting the Sun close to the Venusian orbit. The projected latitudinal extent of the ring is estimated at about 0.043 au ± 0.004 au, exhibiting an average density enhancement of the order of 10%. Here, we report and characterize the first comprehensive, pristine observations of the plane-of-sky projection of the dust ring in almost its full 360° longitudinal extension.


Source: https://gizmodo.com/in-a-scientific-first-astronomers-capture-a-complete-v-1846712924
 

Flyaway

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Successful Eighth Solar Flyby for Parker Solar Probe

Sarah Frazier Posted on May 3, 2021

On May 2, 2021, at 3:00 a.m. EDT, mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, in Laurel, Maryland, received a “tone one” beacon from Parker Solar Probe, indicating that all systems were healthy and operating normally after the spacecraft’s eighth close approach to the Sun on April 29.

During this close pass by the Sun — called perihelion — Parker Solar Probe broke its own records for spacecraft distance from the Sun and speed, coming to within about 6.5 million miles (10.4 million kilometers) of the Sun’s surface, while moving faster than 330,000 miles per hour (532,000 kilometers per hour).

Science data collection for this solar encounter continues through May 4.

 

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