Written by Madhav Bahl, a grade 9 student.
Over the last century, we have started paying more interest in learning more things about space. NASA, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of America, has been spearheading the race. Be it landing on the moon, or being the first one to put a satellite in space, NASA has been influential in making it possible to not only make the conditions of space known to us but also give enough information to start space travel.
Now, the sun
The sun, as we know, is the star of the solar system and has a lot of heat which gives light to the earth. Because of such conditions, no spacecraft has been able to reach near the sun, until now. NASA has done the unthinkable. The step of only thinking of trying such a bold feat requires guts, courage, and precision.
History was made
The craft was known as the Solar Parker Probe and it was launched on 12th of August 2018. After more than 3 years it entered the Sun’s corona, which is the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere. Some people say it has touched the sun but not literally, as the sun has an atmosphere of heat in which the Parker Solar Probe entered.
Sometimes, rising heat and pressure push that material away from the Sun with such force that it breaks through the gravity and magnetic field where the Parker Probe came. That moment which is called the Alfvén critical surface marks the end of the solar atmosphere and the beginning of solar wind. As soon as the Parker Probe entered the solar atmosphere we found out as it entered the solar atmosphere after the wind. This happens the solar wind moves so fast that its connection with the Sun is permanently severed. Till now scientists did not understand where the Alfvén critical surface lay and this helped them narrow the distance to which the magnetic energy reaches
What’s the importance of this?
This will help us understand the atmosphere of the sun from a distance that has never been experienced before and will be a huge breakthrough for finding out more about the sun for later adversities, be it the death of the sun and saving the solar system from its rays, and making another artificial sun source. The sun, say some experts, will die in 5 billion years when it runs out of hydrogen.