Parker Solar Probe

Launched in 2018, this probe was sent to study the Sun. At its closest approach, it will come within 4 million miles of the surface. This is well within the orbit of Mercury and around 7 times closer than any other spacecraft in history.

Due to this proximity to the Sun, Parker Solar Probe will experience massive amounts of heat and radiation. A very heavy duty heat shield was designed to protect the rest of the spacecraft and to prevent the electronics from overheating. Temperatures on the Sun side will be almost 1400°C and about room temperature on the dark side of the probe.

This probe will hopefully help us understand space weather. Solar wind, flares and coronal mass ejections can have huge impacts on Earth yet we know very little about these events.

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