Nasa has created history as its ambitious Parker Solar Probe has become the first spacecraft to have successfully flown through the sun's corona, or upper atmosphere, to sample particles and our star's magnetic fields.
The major milestone and new results from NASA's Parker Solar Probe were announced by the scientists on Dec. 14 in a press conference at the 2021 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans. The results have been published in Physical Review Letters and accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.
As per reports, during its journey inside the atmosphere of our star, the solar probe had to withstand extreme heat and radiation. However, it is likely to help scientists understand better how the Sun actually works.
According to Nasa, touching the very stuff the Sun is made of will help scientists uncover critical information about our closest star and its influence on the solar system.
"Parker Solar Probe 'touching the Sun' is a monumental moment for solar science and a truly remarkable feat," said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, in a statement.
"The milestone will not only provide us with deeper insights into our Sun's evolution, but everything we learn about our own star also teaches us more about stars in the rest of the universe," he added.
Scientists at the Nasa said that the Parker solar probe actually flew through the corona in April during the spacecraft's eighth close approach to the sun. However, they said it took a few months to get the data back and then several more months to confirm.
The Parker probe was launched three years ago with an aim to make repeated and increasingly closer passes of the Sun. The spacecraft moves at a stunning speed of over 500,000kmph to enable getting in quickly and getting out quickly to avoid heat damage.