Solar Physics Laboratory (671) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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Preparing for Discovery With NASA's Parker Solar Probe

12.12.2018
On Dec. 12, four researchers gathered at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union to share what they hope to learn from Parker Solar Probe.

NASA Retires Prolific Solar Observatory After 16 Years

11.20.2018
More than 16 years after launching the mission on Feb. 5, 2002, NASA is retiring the solar observatory RHESSI, short for the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager.

Parker Solar Probe Reports Good Status After Close Solar Approach

11.07.2018
Parker Solar Probe is alive and well after skimming by the Sun at just 15 million miles from our star's surface. This is far closer than any spacecraft has ever gone. Mission controllers received the status beacon from the spacecraft at 4:46 p.m. EST on Nov. 7, 2018. The beacon indicates status "A" — the best of all four possible status signals.

NASA Team to Fly First-Ever Coronagraph Capable of Determining the Formation of the Solar Wind

11.06.2018
An observational technique first proposed more than four decades ago to measure the physical parameters of the corona that determine the formation of the solar wind — the source of disturbances in Earth’s upper atmosphere — will be demonstrated for the first time next year.

Parker Solar Probe Breaks Record, Becomes Closest Spacecraft to Sun

10.29.2018
Parker Solar Probe now holds the record for closest approach to the Sun by a human-made object. The spacecraft passed the current record of 26.55 million miles from the Sun's surface on Oct. 29, 2018, at about 1:04 p.m. EDT, as calculated by the Parker Solar Probe team.

Parker Solar Probe Looks Back at Home

10.24.2018
On Sept. 25, 2018, Parker Solar Probe captured a view of Earth as it sped toward the first Venus gravity assist of the mission.

Parker Solar Probe Changed the Game Before it Even Launched

10.04.2018
On Oct. 3, Parker Solar Probe performed a Venus gravity assist that drew its orbit closer to the star by 4 million miles. But if you'd asked anyone before 2007, Venus would not have come up as the key to the mission puzzle.

Three NASA Missions Return 1st-Light Data

09.21.2018
NASA’s continued quest to explore our solar system and beyond received a boost of new information this week with three key missions proving not only that they are up and running, but that their science potential is exceptional.

Illuminating First Light Data from Parker Solar Probe

09.19.2018
Just over a month into its mission, Parker Solar Probe has returned first-light data from its four instrument suites. These early observations show that each of the instruments is working well.

NASA, ULA Launch Parker Solar Probe on Historic Journey to Touch Sun

08.12.2018
Hours before the rise of the very star it will study, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched from Florida Sunday to begin its journey to the Sun, where it will undertake a landmark mission.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is About to Lift Off

08.09.2018
Stay tuned — Parker is about to take flight. At 3:33 a.m. EDT on Aug. 11, while most of the U.S. is asleep, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will be abuzz with excitement. At that moment, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, the agency’s historic mission to "touch" the Sun, will have its first opportunity to lift off.

Parker Solar Probe and the Birth of the Solar Wind

07.30.2018
This summer, humanity embarks on its first mission to touch the Sun: A spacecraft will be launched into the Sun’s outer atmosphere. Facing several-million-degree Fahrenheit temperatures, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will directly sample solar particles and magnetic fields to resolve some of the most important questions in solar science.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and the Curious Case of the Hot Corona

07.27.2018
Something mysterious is going on at the Sun: Its atmosphere gets much, much hotter the farther it stretches from the Sun's blazing surface. Parker Solar Probe offers the chance for scientists to solve this mystery at last.

NASA Goddard’s Science Jamboree Connects Disciplines and Interns

07.26.2018
The Goddard Science Jamboree provides an opportunity for interns and senior scientists alike to learn more about the science happening in other disciplines in one room.

Traveling to the Sun: Why Won’t Parker Solar Probe Melt?

07.19.2018
This summer, NASA's Parker Solar Probe will launch to travel closer to the Sun, deeper into the solar atmosphere, than any mission before it. Cutting-edge technology and engineering will help it beat the heat.

Discovering Structure in the Outer Corona

07.18.2018
Using advanced algorithms and data-cleaning techniques, scientists discovered never-before-detected, fine-grained structures in the outer corona — the Sun’s million-degree atmosphere — by analyzing images taken by NASA’s STEREO spacecraft.

Cutting-Edge Heat Shield Installed on NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

07.05.2018
When you're designing a mission to touch the Sun, one key question comes to mind: How will you stop it from overheating? Parker Solar Probe's heat shield is a big part of the answer, and it was installed on June 27, 2018.

More Than 1.1 Million Names Installed on NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

05.21.2018
On May 18, 2018, a memory card containing over a million names submitted by the public was installed onto NASA's Parker Solar Probe spacecraft before its historic journey to the Sun.

NASA Spacecraft Discovers New Magnetic Process in Turbulent Space

05.09.2018
Explorations in Earth's space environment by NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft have discovered a surprising new magnetic event in turbulent plasma.

2020 Decadal Survey Missions: At a Glance

04.24.2018
Any telescope that reaches the launch pad in the 2030s likely will look much different than the concepts four teams are currently studying to inform the 2020 Decadal Survey for Astrophysics, but the studies do offer a roadmap.

NASA Teams Study the Agency’s Future in Astrophysics; Tackle Formidable Technology Challenges

04.24.2018
As in past decades, the agency won’t make that decision in a vacuum or without understanding the technical obstacles, which are formidable.

New Exoplanet Collaboration Hosts Meeting to Explore Molecular Seeds of Life

04.09.2018
The Sellers Exoplanet Environments Collaboration (SEEC) hosts its first annual symposium April 9-13. Researchers will discuss how our knowledge of the early solar system can help the hunt for life on other worlds.

NASA’s Mission to Touch the Sun Arrives in the Sunshine State

04.06.2018
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has arrived in Florida to begin final preparations for its launch to the Sun, scheduled for July 31, 2018.

3 NASA Satellites Recreate Solar Eruption in 3-D

03.09.2018
Scientists have developed a model that simulates how shocks following coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, propagate from the Sun — an effort made possible only by combining data from three different NASA satellites.

Public Invited to Come Aboard NASA’s First Mission to Touch the Sun

03.06.2018
NASA's Parker Solar Probe mission will launch in summer 2018 to travel closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions. And you can send your name along for the ride.
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