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Explorer starts to trip to the sun

CAPE CANAVERAL – the lair of the lion. There is an American satellite on Saturday to go. The Parker Solar Probe goes to the sun. In november he comes there. The zonnesonde, we need to learn more about the atmosphere of the sun.

The probe goes over the next seven years of oval orbits around the sun. At the closest point is the Parker, but 6 million kilometers from the sun. Close enough to take a dip in the so-called corona of the sun, but far away enough not to burn. In comparison, Mercury, the first planet in our solar system, is almost ten times as far.

Never so close

No vessel is ever so close to the sun. The Parker is built to temperatures of 1400 degrees Celsius to resist. The radiation at the destination is about 500 times as bright as at earth. A special shield the probe against it to protect. Without that shield would be the satellite only a few seconds to survive.

The sun is a big mystery. So it is in the atmosphere to a million degrees, much warmer than on the surface, where it is less than 6000 degrees. How that can be, no one knows for sure. Possible it has to do with electromagnetic waves. The only way to find out, is himself a look.

Research into solar wind

The Parker must also research the so-called solar wind. That is a stream of charged particles that the sun continuously to all the planets, including the earth, winds. When these particles managed to penetrate to the atmosphere of the earth, they cause the northern lights and the southern. But the particles can also be harmful to satellites and communications. Also about solar flares and plasmawolken the Parker more insight. So scientists would get a better picture of where the earth and the rest of the solar system is actually exposed.

Launch

The launch of the Parker is scheduled for Saturday 9.33 pm Dutch time. During his flight to the sun will Parker, a speed record breaking. He gets a relative speed of 700,000 miles per hour. He would thereby in one second from Groningen to Utrecht to be able to fly, and in two minutes from Europe to Australia.

The Parker is named after the now 91-year-old scientist Eugene N. Parker. The American physicist developed in the fifties, the concept of the solar wind. He was initially declared insane, but when the first satellites, the space went and the solar wind felt, it turned out that he had been right. It is the first time that a spacecraft is named after someone who is still alive.

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