Parker Solar Probe beams back first images

WISPR First Light Data Parker Solar Probe

"Similar to the TESS telescope from NASA, Solar Probe Parker recently gave (the Land - ed.) the first data as images that were made as a set of four instruments created to study solar corona", - stated in the message. They work in tandem in order to measure the Sun's electric and magnetic fields, particles from the Sun, capture images of the environment around the spacecraft and, most importantly, gather information about solar winds.

The tool, WISPR, snapped a blue-toned, two-panel image of space filled with stars with the help of both of its inner and outer telescope. The first image from the probe does not contain the sun, but it does contain another mainstay of the solar system: Jupiter.

"There is a very distinctive cluster of stars on the overlap of the two images". It is the first mission that will fly directly into our sun's atmosphere and reach closer to the sun than any other spacecraft in history.

The early observations are not examples of the actual science the probe will be doing, but serve as proof that each of the four instrument suites on board the probe are functioning as intended. On the left side, we can see the Milky Way, looking at the galactic center.

ISoIS's are two Energetic Particle Instruments comprising of EPI-Lo and EPI-Hi, and they both are responsible to cover a range of energies for these particles driven by activity. "There are a few more steps to go, but so far everything looks great", said ISʘIS principal investigator Professor David McComas, of Princeton University.


First light data showed all instruments were operating effectively - and that bodes well for NASA and its research teams as we get closer to the sun than ever before. These are key measurements to understanding why the Sun's corona is hundreds of times hotter than its surface below.

The space probe launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on August 12, 2018.

FIELDS' sensors include four 2-m electric field antennas as well as three magnetometers and a fifth, shorter electric field antenna mounted on a boom that extends from the back of the spacecraft.

This included extending a set of antennas to created to measure the electric fields in the Sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, removing the covers of the Solar Probe Analyzers that will track the solar winds, and firing up the Solar Probe Cup, which will measure thermal solar wind plasma.

"Our preliminary results just after turn-on suggest we have a set of highly sensitive instruments that will allow us to do wonderful science close to the Sun".

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