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  • The Sun.

  • It's the solar system's engine,

  • and the only star in the sky that gets our attention

  • every day.

  • But up close,

  • it's unlike anything we can see from Earth.

  • It's ferocious

  • a writhing mass of nuclear chaos,

  • tangled magnetic lines,

  • and a constant wind with inconceivably high temperatures

  • and speeds close to a million miles an hour.

  • Over the years NASA has sent probes all over the solar system

  • ...but never to the Sun.

  • Check this out.

  • This is the Parker Solar Probe

  • and it's going to be humanity's first mission assigned to touch the Sun.

  • It will fly to within 4 million miles of the Sun's surface

  • confronting brutal radiation

  • and temperatures that can reach 1,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Parker Solar Probe has been prepped

  • to fly right through that unforgiving atmosphere.

  • It's a rough journey.

  • Typically, if you want to head out into the solar system,

  • you merge with orbital traffic.

  • But if you want to head toward the center of the solar system,

  • you've got to run the other way

  • and it takes a lot of energy.

  • once it arrives, the spacecraft has got to take the heat.

  • Bathed in radiation as it swoops in close,

  • Parker Solar Probe will use an advanced

  • carbon/carbon composite heat shield

  • to protect its delicate instruments.

  • And here's a technical triumph:

  • the spacecraft's thermal regulation system

  • will use just a single gallon of ordinary water

  • H 2 O

  • to collect and then dissipate heatjust like a car radiator.

  • It will fly into the corona,

  • the super hot region of gas and plasma surrounding the Sun.

  • There's hardly a there there,

  • as high energy particles fly outward like streamers.

  • Butand this is another weird thing about the sun-

  • -the corona is hotter than the surface of the star itself.

  • We have a few good theories about this

  • but we're really not sure why.

  • There's some process in the atmosphere that keeps heating it up

  • even as it gets further away from the core.

  • Parker Solar Probe is going to try and figure it out.

  • The corona also propels the solar wind out into space

  • at incredible speeds

  • way beyond the orbit of Pluto.

  • No one knows for sure what accelerates it so far so fast.

  • Parker Solar Probe is going to fly right through the origin of this wind,

  • right where it starts, to figure out how the whole system works

  • We can't see those processes from Earth, or even from space.

  • Parker Solar Probe is our first direct encounter with a star.

  • Our Sun is the only star we can visit….

  • which means this mission will gather

  • important information about how stars workeverywhere.

  • That's information we can only get by going straight to the source.

  • Some journeys are harder than others.

  • Some destinations are further, higher, hotter.

  • But the only way to explore a new destination

  • is to actually make the journey.

  • Parker Solar Probe:

  • See you on The Sun.

  • [music continues]

The Sun.

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B1 US solar probe parker sun solar system fly

Parker Solar Probe--Mission Overview

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    鐘燕華 posted on 2018/08/14
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