Solar Probe Will be the First Spacecraft to Fly Through the Atmosphere of
The Solar Probe, a unique high-technology dual spacecraft mission to be
implemented in cooperation with the Russians, will venture deep into the solar
corona, the Sun's outer atmosphere - far closer to the Sun than any other
spacecraft has previously ventured. It will demonstrate technologies for
imaging, and taking in-situ and remote measurements at 3 solar radii
(R_s) above solar surface, where radiation temperatures exceed 2000 K.
Solar Probe is designed to answer long-standing fundamental questions:
Our Sun is the only star we can measure in situ. Solar Probe will
relate remotely observed solar phenomena to actual physical processes occurring
in the solar atmosphere and corona. This will offer unique access to processes
that are important in many other significant but inaccessible stars throughout
- What heats the extended solar corona and accelerates the solar wind?
- From where in the corona do the different types of solar wind
- What roles do turbulence and waves play in the coronal heating
- What are the mechanisms that accelerate, store and transport high
energy particles throughout the corona?
Click here for a larger, JPEG
representation of the figure at the top of the page.
Solar Connections: A Science Initiative for NASA Space Physics
Solar Connections home page
and table of contents