Beranda » Science » Sun-Bombing: A Spacecraft Will Brave the Solar Fires

Sun-Bombing: A Spacecraft Will Brave the Solar Fires

T Diposting oleh pada 28 September 2013
F Kategori
b Belum ada komentar
@ Dilihat 995 kali

On September 1, 1859, a British astronomer named Richard Carrington was sketching the shapes of sunspots projected from his telescope onto a screen when two spots flared into view and brightened still further, only to fade a few minutes later. Less than 24 hours after that, says Harvard astronomer Justin Kasper, “everything went to hell on Earth.” The sky lit up with Northern Lights so bright, he says, that people could read newspapers outside at 2 A.M. in New York’s Central Park. More ominously, says Kasper, “the telegraph network—the Victorian internet—went completely down.”

What scientists now call the “Carrington event” was the most violent solar storm in recorded history, and there’s no reason something like it, or even worse, couldn’t happen again, shutting down communications and power grids for weeks or even months.

That’s one reason NASA is hard at work on a spacecraft known as Solar Probe One—the first mission designed to dip into the Sun’s outer atmosphere—and, more impressively, live to tell the tale. Slated for a 2018 launch, the craft will try to figure out why solar storms happen and how they send blasts of particles out to threaten Earth with electronic disaster.

Enough Already. Does Mars Have Life or Not?

But that’s only one focus of the mission. Another is to answer the 60-year-old mystery of how the Sun’s surface can hover at around 10,000°F (5,500°C) while the thin gas immediately above, known as the corona, is at least a hundred times hotter. Nobody fully understands how this can be. It might be caused by the Sun’s powerful magnetic fields, says Kasper, lead scientist for one of Solar Probe’s five instruments. Or it might have to do with the Sun’s turbulent, roiling surface, which triggers pressure waves that that dissipate their energy in the corona “like waves crashing on the beach.”

In theory, Solar Probe One should be able to provide some clues. But those, along with observations that might make disruptive solar eruptions easier to predict, won’t come along right away. The spacecraft will need some eight years after launch to reach the Sun, using no fewer than seven Venus flybys to adjust its trajectory until it finally dips to within 3.7 million miles (6 million km) of the solar surface.

Can Tiny Galaxies Explain Dark Matter?

That sounds pretty far away, but the Sun itself is a million miles across, and even at that distance, its rays are 500 times brighter than they are on Earth, and temperatures will soar to 2,500°F (1,400°C). To protect the probe, NASA engineers plan to toughen the already impressive heat-shielding techniques used to keep the MESSENGER probe from getting fried during its observations of Mercury.

By the mid 2020’s, therefore, assuming all goes well, scientists might finally have a reasonably complete understanding of the biggest, most obvious target for Solar System exploration. It’s the reason all of the other objects are here at all—and it’s been neglected for far too long.

science.time.com

Diposting oleh

Saat ini bekerja di Triboxmedia sebagai web developer dan graphic designer. Bizniz Theme adalah template wordpress company profile. Sangat cocok digunakan untuk membuat website perusahaan penyedia jasa online maupun offline.

Belum ada Komentar untuk Sun-Bombing: A Spacecraft Will Brave the Solar Fires

Silahkan tulis komentar Anda

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

a Artikel Terkait Sun-Bombing: A Spacecraft Will Brave the Solar Fires

Soyuz-FG-rocket-400x200

Space? It’s Just a Commute

T 28 September 2013 F A Tri Yuli Kurniawan

It took just under six hours for Soyuz TMA-10M to reach the International Space Station on Thursday, making it the third time a manned vehicle has completed the journey in under 24 hours. Before March, the trip usually took two... Selengkapnya

black-hole

Mystery Solved: Black Hole Belch Caused Galactic Glow

T 28 September 2013 F A Tri Yuli Kurniawan

Like virtually all galaxies, the Milky Way has a monster lurking at its very core: a giant black hole, as massive as four million suns, which will swallow anything that ventures too close to its intense gravitational field. Like most,... Selengkapnya

+ SIDEBAR

Ada Pertanyaan? Silahkan hubungi customer service kami untuk mendapatkan informasi lebih lengkap mengenai jasa/produk kami.

Tentang Bizniz Theme

Bizniz Theme adalah template wordpress company profile. Sangat cocok digunakan untuk membuat website perusahaan penyedia jasa online maupun offline. Dilengkapi dengan fitur-fitur menarik yang dapat dengan mudah Anda setting dari halaman pengaturan template yang telah disediakan. SEO friendly, fast loading, desain elegan dan mudah penggunaannya. Free update & Full Support!