Artist's rendering of Parker Solar Probe

Parker Solar Probe

Our Contribution

Touching the Sun

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe—designed and built at APL—launched in August 2018 and has already traveled closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history. Parker Solar Probe is making detailed observations of the magnetic field, plasma, and accelerated particles in the Sun’s corona, finally answering fundamental questions that have puzzled scientists for decades—like why is the corona hotter than the Sun’s surface, and why does solar wind exist? By making these measurements in the region where solar wind is created and where the most hazardous solar energetic particles are energized, Parker Solar Probe is improving our ability to characterize and forecast the dynamics of the heliosphere and the resulting effects that influence space weather on Earth and in the orbital regions where future explorers will live and work.

Parker Solar Probe Touches the Sun

Related Areas of Impact