NASA's Parker Solar Probe captures stunning image of the Milky Way

Madhuri Adnal

Washington, Sep 22: NASA's Sun-bound spacecraft, the Parker Solar Probe, has sent back its first-light data from each of its four instrument suites, reports NASA.

Illuminating first light data from Parker Solar Probe

According to NASA, this most recent image shows first-light data from the Parker Solar Probe's WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe) instrument suite.

Parker Solar Probe on its way to 'touch the Sun'

The Parker Solar Probe's first close approach to the Sun will be in November. Over the next two months, it will fly towards Venus, performing its first Venus gravity assist in early October. Throughout its mission, the probe will make six more Venus flybys and 24 total passes by the Sun. The probe is named after Eugene Parker, a solar physicist, who in 1958 first predicted the existence of the solar wind, a stream of charged particles and magnetic fields that flow continuously from the Sun.

About NASA's Parker Solar Probe project

This included extending a set of antennas to designed to measure the electric fields in the Sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, removing the covers of the Solar Probe Analyzers that will track the solar winds, and firing up the Solar Probe Cup, which will measure thermal solar wind plasma. Tucked in behind the spacecraft's heat shield, the Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR) will also have an important role to play in the mission's success. The instrument will use its pair of telescopes to capture images of the structures emanating from the corona in unprecedented detail.

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