NASA’s solar probe found things in the sun that we cannot explain

The fastest object ever made by humans discovered extremely high-energy rogue waves in our sun and recorded the speed of the solar wind that predicts each model. The discovery was neither expected nor easily explained, indicating that there are significant gaps in our understanding of the sun.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, launched in 2018, came several days closer to the sun in November and April 2019 than the previous mission. Scientists have revealed the incredible results of these first two encounters with the fastest spaceship ever in four articles. Posted in Nature on Wednesday.Although the sun is the center of the solar system and its radiation has nourished life on earth, it is one of the most undiscovered objects in space due to its intense heat and radiation.

“It was very interesting,” said Justin Casper, lead author of a study at the University of Michigan and professor of space science, on the phone. “It is a discovery.

During his two encounters, Parker traveled 15 million miles above the surface of the sun, surpassing the record 25 million miles set by NASA’s Helios 2 mission in 1976. Parker has also claimed the title of the fastest artificial object in history. From Helios 2 when it approaches the sun at more than 153,000 miles per hour.

In an amazing discovery, Parker discovered new phenomena within a quarter of an astronomical unit (AU) in the distance between the Earth’s surface and the Sun. At this distance, the investigation found that the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emitted by the sun, rotates at a speed much faster than the estimated models.

It’s 15 to 25 times faster than predicted by standard solar models, so we have that in our standard models Sun something interesting – how it turns and how the wind escapes.

Parker was also surprised by a series of unusually intense “phone waves” in the solar wind. Intercontinental missions have long observed low-energy alpine waves, waves that flow from the sun through magnetic plasma. But Parker is the first person to tie “huge big waves” near our star.

Although the mechanism behind these waves is not yet known, the sheer force of these waves could help explain two extremely mysterious things about the sun: the solar corona or atmosphere, about 1 from its surface. Why is it a thousand times hotter? And why does the solar wind suddenly accelerate the supersonic at a certain distance from the sun?

Scientists suspect that an exciting process has thrown heat and energy into the solar corona. Newly discovered bullying waves can be part of this dynamic.

Parker’s new data has challenged long-held hypotheses about the sun, leading to better models of solar storms that could affect the earth, and star developments across the universe. The mission is just getting started.

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