NASA probe enters sun’s atmosphere for first time

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) solar probe is the first ever to ‘touch’ the atmosphere of the Sun.

The space agency in its statement said that Parker Solar Probe flew through the Sun’s atmosphere and managed to sample particles and magnetic fields in April.

The Parker Solar Probe was launched in 2018 to explore the Sun by travelling closer to its atmosphere more than any spacecraft before.

“The new milestone marks one major step for Parker Solar Probe and one giant leap for solar science. Just as landing on the Moon allowed scientists to understand how it was formed, touching the very stuff the Sun is made of will help scientists uncover critical information about our closest star and its influence on the solar system” the statement added.

Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said the probe ‘touching the sun’ is a ‘monumental; moment’ for solar science.

The news of the first ‘touch’ has come three years after the launch of the probe and decades after it was first conceptualised.