Scientist wins solar probe instrument award
Washington: An astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and his science team have secured a proposal award of 8.2 million dollars to help build parts for and test an instrument for the Solar Probe Plus flagship mission to directly sample the Sun’s atmosphere.
“This is the equivalent of a Hubble-class mission for solar physics. We expect the data collected on this mission to have a dramatic and revolutionary impact on the field of solar astrophysics,” said Dr. Jonathan Cirtain.
The Solar Probe Plus will explore a region no other spacecraft has ever encountered. It is a spacecraft the size of a small car that will plunge directly into the Sun’s atmosphere, approximately four million miles from the physical surface of the star.
“While other instruments are hidden, we’ll be right out there getting blasted by the Sun, literally “touching” a star for the first time,” said Justin Kasper, SWEAP principal investigator and a Smithsonian astronomer.
Cirtain and his team now are developing instrument prototypes that will specifically count the most abundant particles in the solar wind - electrons, protons and helium ions - and measure their properties.
The investigation also is designed to sweep up the solar wind in a special conductive metal cup, called a Faraday cup, and determine the speed and direction of the Sun’s particles.
The mission will answer the two pertinent questions scientists have been struggling with for a long time - Why is the Sun’s outer atmosphere so much hotter than the Sun’s visible surface, and what propels the solar wind that affects Earth and our solar system? – said Dick Fisher, director of NASA’s Heliophysics Division in Washington.
Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Amit Shah interacts with journalists at BJP office
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: How to expand your existing business
- PM Modi host 'Diwali Milan' for media
- Entire Indian force can't defend Kashmir from terrorists, says Farooq Abdullah
- Prashant Bhushan questions Arvind Kejriwal on Lokpal through press conference
- Entire Indian force can't defend Kashmir from terrorists: Farooq Abdullah
- Woman cop transferred within 24 hours of spat with Haryana minister Anil Vij
- Sheena Bora murder: Why did Indrani send servant to Kolkata to get illegal drugs?
- Women fit only to deliver children, gender equality un-islamic: Kerala Muslim leader
- Day/Night Test: Cricketers mock DRS, Nigel Llong decision on Nathan Lyon howler