NASA Launches Two New Sun Study Missions »GoGetNews News


NASA announced that it chose two new missions to explore the sun. According to Popular Mechanics, they will, for example, study how our star affects space weather.

The first mission is called PUNCH (Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere). She will focus on the solar corona and examine how it creates the solar wind. It will include four satellites that will monitor the solar wind, as well as track emissions of matter that may affect space weather near the Earth.

The second mission – TRACERS (Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites) – includes two vehicles. They will study how magnetic fields around the Earth interact with solar ones. In a process known as magnetic reconnection, the field lines of force are sharply rearranged, releasing particles at very high speeds; Some of these particles will be directed by the Earth’s magnetic field to an area where TRACERS can observe them.

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Magnetic reconnection can cause flares and ejections of matter on the Sun, and also allow particles of the solar wind to reach the Earth.

At the moment, a solar probe of the agency is already working near the star. Parker Solar Probe is equipped with a huge heat shield made from a special carbon fiber material that reflects 99% of light and heat. Its thickness is 11 centimeters, and the length and width reach several meters.

It is assumed that the probe body will be heated to temperatures of about 1500 degrees Kelvin and exposed to a flux of radiation exceeding the background on Earth by almost 500 times.

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