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How Close Can We Get to the Sun?

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How Close Can We Get to the Sun?
Advertisement Four million miles (or if you prefer, 6.44 million kilometers) is quite a distance. It's the equivalent of driving around Earth's widest point, the equator, 160 times in a row. Well that's about as close to the sun as NASA is willing to take its new Parker Solar Probe (PSP).

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Getting closer to the sun

Getting closer to the sun

Until now, NASA's Helios 2 was the vessel that has got the closest to the sun: in 1976, it came within 27 million miles of the surface of the sun.

This is about to change, as NASA is pl...

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The concerns related to traveling to the sun

When planning to send its brand new vessel to investigate on the sun, NASA has to take into account serious threats to its astronauts.

The biggest obvious threat is the extremely hot area ...

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The high radiation of the sun

When traveling to the sun, astronauts take huge risks, as the sun emits an enormous amount of radiation. Usually this radiation is associated with heart issues or strokes.
Therefore, the closer ...

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Disintegration of a vessel

NASA's newest vessel, the Parker Solar Probe, comes equipped with a custom-made heat shield, the so-called 'Thermal Protection System', which will protect the instruments behind it from...

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Exploration and its benefits

By setting as goal the exploration of the sun starting this year and ending in 2025, NASA is bound to save the world trillions of dollars.

This is possible, as it is expected that the journ...

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The northern lights, or aurora borealis

The northern lights, or aurora borealis

The magnetic fields of the sun distort and twist as the Earth rotates on its axis. When these fields become knotted together, they create sunspots. Usually, these sunspots occur in pairs.

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Auroras on other worlds

Auroras also occur on planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. These gas giants have thick atmospheres and strong magnetic fields. These auroras are a little different from Earth's as they are formed under different conditions.

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Two emerging technologies may propel NASA and the rest of the world into an era of faster, low-cost exploration that would lead to more exploration and democratise access to the Solar System.

  • A new generation of companies is developing new rockets for small satellites. Rocket Lab has a lunar program for its small Electron rocket, and Virgin Orbit with a group of Polish universities is to launch up to three missions to Mars with its LauncherOne vehicle.
  • At the same time, various components of satellites are being miniaturised.
  • Tiny satellites are no longer theoretical. Two years ago, a pair of CubeSats, called MarCO-A and MarCO-B, launched with the InSight mission. The briefcase-sized satellites deployed their own solar arrays and journeyed to Mars.

Small sats in deep space

NASA had several goals with MarCO. The MarCOs proved that small satellites could thrive in deep space and stream data back home.

A few months after their mission ended, the European Space Agency announced that it would send two CubeSats on its "Hera" mission to a binary system.

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The Star Wars story is a classic Hero’s Journey, in which the protagonist, Luke Skywalker in a galaxy, far, far away, learns that he is able to harness a certain force. He eventually joins the rebellion against the Galactic Empire, and along with his allies, destroys the Death Star, uniting with his father, who had fallen on the dark side.

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The original story and its continuation in the two sequels released in the 80s had limited computer graphics technology, which eventually became better in the 90s. The Director, George Lucas, then released three ‘prequels’ which had better technology and visual effects, though the story wasn’t in the same league.

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