Washington, June 1: Born in 1927, Eugene Parker is a gigantic name in the field of astrophysics. The American astrophysicist for the first time predicted the Parker spiral shape of the solar magnitude field in the outer solar system. Parker has written several books and now, NASA has renamed its Solar Probe after him which will touch the Sun’s surface for the first time.
No human has ever reached closer to the Sun or has even given a thought about it. A mission to reach closer to the Sun’s surface was a dream since 60 years, until recently when NASA says it will launch a spacecraft in 2018 to “touch the sun” sending it closer to the star’s surface than ever before.The spacecraft is small – its instruments would fit into a refrigerator — but it's built to withstand temperatures of more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, all the while maintaining room temperature inside the probe.
The mission has been named the Parker Solar Probe in honor of astrophysicist Eugene Parker, according to NASA. The space agency announced the mission's name at a ceremony at the University of Chicago, where Parker serves as the Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.Parker’s work formed "the basis for much of our understanding about how stars interact with the worlds that orbit them," NASA announced.
It’s a spacecraft loaded with technological breakthroughs that will solve many of the largest mysteries about our star, including finding out why the sun’s corona is so much hotter than its surface.
Commenting on the launch, Parker said: “The solar probe is going to a region of space that has never been explored before. It’s very exciting that we’ll finally get a look. One would like to have some more detailed measurements of what’s going on in the solar wind. I’m sure that there will be some surprises. There always are.”
Scientists are hoping the data gathered might solve some of the big mysteries about the sun.