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2018-08-10   14:11:51   INGLÉS
Parker mission to "touch" the Sun, ready to launch

Mexico, Aug. 10 (Notimex).- To study the surface of the Sun at a close distance, to better understand the star whose changing conditions can be extended to the Solar System with effects on Earth and other planets, is the goal of the Parker probe of NASA.

The first mission to "touch" the Sun, which will be launched tomorrow, Saturday, August 11, will travel in a region never before explored by humanity, says the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The spacecraft, the size of a small car, will travel directly into the Sun's atmosphere and orbit at a distance of about 6.1 million kilometers from the solar surface.

For seven years that the mission is scheduled to last, the spacecraft will be closer than any other to the Sun, to explore the outer atmosphere of the "sun king", which will be traversed 24 times by the probe.

The mission will track how energy and heat move through the solar corona, as well as explore what accelerates the solar wind.

The results can improve forecasts of the major eruptions on the Sun and subsequent space weather events, which damage life on Earth, to satellites and astronauts in space.

Scientists hope that the Parker mission will help solve the problem of coronal heating and the mechanism behind the acceleration of the solar wind.

Coronal heating is what experts call an apparent mismatch between the temperature of the Sun's photosphere (visible surface), and the much higher temperature of the corona, the Sun's atmosphere, which reaches temperatures of up to 10 million degrees Fahrenheit.

Closely observing this region will help experts identify the source of that coronal heating, along with the process that accelerates the solar wind at enormous speeds when it leaves the Sun.

Inside, the Parker probe will carry a memory card with one million 137 thousand 202 names of people who decided to register in the call of NASA.

The card was mounted on a plaque with a dedication and an appointment of the homonym of the mission, the heliophysicist Eugene Parker, first to theorize about the existence of the solar wind.

The device also includes photos of Parker, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, and a copy of his article published in 1958, where he proposed concepts on how stars, including the Sun, emit material.

According to the US space agency, Eugene Parker, called this cascade of energy and particles, solar wind, a constant release of material from the Sun.

NASA detailed that the Sun has 99.8 percent of the mass of the Solar System, and that it is difficult to reach it, because to do so it is necessary to use 55 times more energy used to go to Mars.

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