Science & Technology

Staring at the Sun: The Parker Solar Probe heralds a bright new future for solar-physics

August 11th saw the launch of NASA’s Parker solar probe. A probe with a unique mission; to beam back a record of the plasma that comprises the Sun’s corona and the magnetic fields which shape it. The probe will fly closer to the Sun than any probe has before, facing brutal heat and radiation, even flying through the Sun’s corona, the outermost part of the star’s atmosphere.  The research team behind the mission hope that this data will help solve several mysteries surrounding the Sun, such as what heats this plasma to 200 times temperature of the sun’s surface?