News Update

For The First Time in Human History, NASA Probe Has ‘Touched’ The Sun

In a marvellous historic first, a human-made spacecraft has swooped in and made contact with the Sun. On 28 April 2021, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe flew into and through the solar corona, the upper atmosphere of the Sun. Not only did the spacecraft live to tell the tale – proving the efficacy of Parker’s high-tech heat shielding – it took in situ measurements, giving us a wealth of never-before-seen data on the heart of our Solar System.


During the historic moment, as the probe passed through the corona on one of its flybys, it transmitted back to Earth images of ‘coronal streamers,’ structures where particles slowed down because of strong magnetic forces. This was the first time these ‘pseudostreamers,’ as NASA called them, were seen up-close; they are visible from Earth during solar eclipses but had not been viewed at their origin before.


“Parker Solar Probe’ Probe’ touching the Sun” is a monumental moment for solar science and a truly remarkable feat,” said Astrophysicist Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. “Not only does this milestone provide us with deeper insights into our Sun’s evolution and its impacts on our Solar System, but everything we learn about our own star also teaches us more about stars in the rest of the Universe.”