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Exploring solar wind and corona with Parker Solar Probe

Iulia Chifu
University of Göttingen

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission was launched, shortly before the last solar cycle minimum, in August 2018. The main scientific goals of PSP are to help unravel the origin and structure of the solar corona and the processes responsible for the acceleration of the solar wind and of solar energetic particles. Until now PSP has accomplished 19 orbits around the Sun, approaching it to a distance of 11.4 solar radii and has become the first spacecraft to travel to the outer atmosphere of a star. PSP will reach its closest distance to the Sun on 24th December 2024 at a distance below 10 solar radii. Its technical design allowed to withstand the Sun’s heat and to operate the scientific instruments flawlessly. Each encounter has brought new spectacular data, sampling for the first-time structures of the solar corona and solar wind below the sub-alfvénic regime, from within coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and during crossings of coronal streamers with its embedded heliospheric current sheet (HCS). Beyond breakthroughs in solar and heliospheric physics, PSP has facilitated spectacular views of planets, asteroids, and comets, and the interplanetary distribution of dust particles. In my talk, I will introduce the basic mission concept and briefly summarise the new observations. The focus will be on the contribution of the CGAUSS (coronagraphic German and US Parker Solar Probe Survey) project to the WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe) camera led by the University of Göttingen.

2024 June 06, 10:00

Observatório Geofísico e Astronómico (Meetings room)
R. Observatório s/n, 3040-004 Coimbra

Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia