SWEAP is preparing for a hot trip to the Sun

SWEAP is preparing for a hot trip to the Sun

When Parker's solar probe travels out of space from the Kennedy Space Center, it will embark on a journey to the nearest star, the Sun. The probe will advance 90 million miles and eventually penetrate the outer solar atmosphere to break into the dangerous environment of intense heat and stellar radiation. During a painful trip, the device will fly up to the maximum close range than other artificial ships have previously managed.

To make a revolution in understanding the most important star, scientists and engineers created a set of tools onboard the Parker solar chamber for various experiments. Some of them will protect the dense carbon-containing heat shield. But others will be more exposed to heat.

Solar wind electrons of alpha and protons (SWEAP) - a set of tools that will directly measure the hot ionized gas in the solar atmosphere during solar collisions. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory created the key SPC tool (“Sunburst Cup”).

SPC is a small metal device that will be installed around the protective heat shield of a spacecraft. It will face some of the most extreme conditions and allow for the first time to look at the solar atmosphere. SPC uses high voltages to calculate what type of particles it enters, which plays the role of a way to measure particle energy. This is important information for sensing the wind of a hot ionized gas constantly created by the sun. When the ship approaches the collision, the wind will head straight into this bowl. This unique probe is important for research, because it will allow a better understanding of space weather, which creates threats for astronauts during walks in space and communication satellites.

Space probe Parker in size resembles a small car. It will be launched to the solar atmosphere at a speed of 700,000 km / h, which is why it will become the fastest man-made vehicle. As a result, the probe will enter orbit, which is approaching a depth of 4 million miles from the surface of the star. Launch on the Delta-4 rocket is scheduled for August 11, 2018.

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