To everyone’s surprise, NASA has taken the closest ever image of the Sun in order to understand the workings of our star.
The picture was captured when the Parker Solar Probe was about 16.9 million miles from the Sun’s surface and this makes the probe 133 million miles closer to the surface of the Sun than Earth is.
Astronomers are hoping the Parker mission can provide valuable data to help understand the mysterious processes of the sun.
In the photo, Mercury can be seen as a bright blob in the centre of the image and the black dots are said to have been caused by ‘background adjustment’ from the camera.
Terry Kucera, a solar physicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said, “Parker Solar Probe is going to a region we’ve never visited before. Meanwhile, from a distance, we can observe the Sun’s corona, which is driving the complex environment around Parker Solar Probe.”
Parker researcher Nour Raouafi said, “We don’t know what to expect so close to the Sun until we get the data, and we’ll probably see some new phenomena. Parker is an exploration mission — the potential for new discoveries is huge.”