Early returns from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's camera on NASA's latest mission to study the Sun's corona revealed on December 4 a star more complex than ever imagined. 'We see impulsive activity, large jets or switchbacks which we think are related to the origin of the solar wind; we see instability - the gas itself is unstable and is generating waves on its own, ' Bale said.
The findings will also abet realize the course of in which stars are created and evolve, per the USA say company.
Findings from data collected during the spacecraft's first two encounters with the sun will be published in four papers in Nature ("Alfvénic velocity spikes and rotational flows in the near-Sun solar wind").
It is hoped that PSP can help scientists to better understand solar flares - brief eruptions of intense high-energy radiation from the sun's surface that can knock out communications on Earth.
NASA's Parker probe, loaded down with instruments, has taken several passes through the sun's corona, or the uppermost part of its atmosphere, enduring incredible heat and radiation to measure this dynamic and unsafe place where the solar system's weather is created.
'We are detecting remnants of structures from the Sun being hurled into space and violently changing the organization of the flows and magnetic field.
During its initial flybys, Parker studied the Sun from a distance of about 15 million miles.
Between now and then, scientists say the mission will give them a new understanding of our sun, and also help them devise new ways to protect astronauts from conditions in space during long trips through the solar system.
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The findings just released stem from Parker Solar Probe's most recent approach to the Sun during a quiet part of the solar cycle, and set the stage for discoveries when the Sun is more active.
Although scientists can study the solar wind as it washes over Earth, doing so is like trying to study the origin of a waterfall from halfway down the cliff over which it pours, says Bale.
It was known that closer in, the Sun's magnetic field pulls this wind in the same direction as its rotation, so the team expected this effect would weaken further out. This data could be extremely helpful in predicting turbulent solar storms that interrupt satellites' operation, and even be a threat to the life and well-being to humans on board the ISS.
"We're finding these discrete, powerful waves that wash over the spacecraft, kind of like rogue waves in an ocean", Kasper explained. It was also a way to learn things about the Sun that are only visible up close and personal.
Also, it is the first NASA spacecraft to be named after a person who is still alive.
As it gets closer to the Sun, the probe is expected to hurtle around the star at 430,000 miles an hour, which will make it faster than any spacecraft in history.
The findings will also help understand the process by which stars are created and evolve, according to the USA space agency.
The car-sized probe, launched in August last year, will come within some four million miles (six million kilometres) of the sun's surface during a series of fly-bys at other distances and trajectories over seven years.