Parker Solar Probe Findings Illuminate Our Understanding of the Sun

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission has returned unprecedented data from near the Sun, culminating in new discoveries published on Dec. 4, 2019, in the journal Nature. Among the findings are new understandings of how the Sun’s constant outflow of material, the solar wind, behaves. Seen near Earth — where it can interact with our planet’s natural magnetic field and cause space weather effects that interfere with technology — the solar wind appears to be a relatively uniform flow of plasma. But Parker Solar Probe’s observations reveal a complicated, active system not seen from Earth. Credit:

The most startling discovery the teams made was that magnetic fields emanating from our star seemed to unexpectedly flip back and forth, causing local disturbances — what scientists dubbed “switchbacks” — which can even cause them to point back at the Sun at times.

Read the full article from the Goddard Space Flight Center.

Luxel fabricated several optical and particle detector filters for this mission. They are part of the ISOIS instrument (Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun). Learn more about the Parker Solar Probe Instruments.

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