A £1.1BILLION Nasa space probe blasted off for the sun on a ground-breaking science mission that will see it hit 430,000mph. A revolutionary heat shield will let it get closer to our star than any before to study its behaviour. The The Delta IV rocket had been due to launch on Saturday but was dramatically aborted just seconds from lift-off after a last minute technical hitch. But on Sunday, for the second straight day, thousands of spectators jammed the launch site in the middle of the night as well as surrounding towns. Among them was 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker for whom the spacecraft is named, who proposed the existence of solar wind 60 years ago. Nasa plan to 'kiss the SUN' with it's incredible Parker Solar Probe "Fly baby girl, fly!!" project scientist Nicky Fox of Johns Hopkins University tweeted just before lift-off, urging it to "go touch the sun!" Dr Fox explained: “We’ll go where no spacecraft has dared go before, see new regions … [Read more...] about Nasa launches Parker Solar Probe spacecraft in mission to ‘touch the sun’
Temperature on the sun
THE launch of a historic Nasa probe intended to “touch the sun” has been dramatically aborted just seconds from lift-off today. The Parker Space Probe was due to blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, this morning in a £1.2billion mission. Thousands of spectators gathered in the middle of the night to witness the launch, including the University of Chicago astrophysicist for whom the spacecraft is named. Eugene Parker predicted the existence of solar wind 60 years ago. He's now 91 and eager to see the probe soar. But a last minute technical problem saw the launch countdown halted with just one-minute, 55 seconds remaining. The Delta IV rocket carrying the probe will now attempt to take off again tomorrow, Nasa said. The probe, which aims to give Nasa an up-close look at how our nearest and dearest star works, will travel at 430,000 miles an hour - faster than any spacecraft in history. The probe will use Venus's gravity over the course of it's 93million-miles … [Read more...] about Nasa’s Parker Solar Probe launch to ‘touch the sun’ dramatically aborted just SECONDS from lift-off
THE first large, stable mass of liquid water has been discovered on Mars – increasing the probability that there could be life on the Red Planet. Here’s more on the extraordinary discovery. How did scientists discover water on Mars? The amazing discovery was made by a radar on the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express orbiter as it passed close to the Red Planet’s South Pole. The massive lake of liquid water was found hidden beneath the planet’s southern ice sheets when experts were analysing a radar survey done between 2012 and 2015. The Mars Express probe used radar signals bounced through underground layers of ice to find evidence of a pond of water buried below the south polar cap. The remarkable find still needs to be confirmed but would mark the first time a long-lasting reservoir of liquid water was found there. So what exactly did they find and what does it mean? Scientists using ground-penetrating radar found a 12-mile wide lake around a mile … [Read more...] about How was water found on Mars and where is the liquid salt ‘lake’ on the Red Planet?
LATER today, Nasa will launch a probe into space that will end up flying directly into the Sun's atmosphere. The incredible mission aims to give Nasa an up-close look at how our nearest and dearest star works. The Sun is arguably the most vital source of energy for life on Earth, but its inner workings are mysterious To answer some of the big questions facing scientists, Nasa is today launching the Parker Solar Probe. Nasa's probe will take off at around 1.30pm US east coast time and 6.30pm UK time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. From there, it will travel 150million kilometres to "touch the Sun", as Nasa calls it. Of course, the spacecraft won't actually touch the Sun – its temperature is a ludicrously toasty 5,500 degrees Celcius, and would instantly destroy any probe. Instead, it will fly into the Sun's atmosphere, where it will observe from a "safe distance" of approximately four million miles away from the star's surface – protected by a "cutting-edge heat … [Read more...] about Nasa plans to ‘TOUCH’ the Sun with today’s historic solar space probe launch
SCIENCE boffins have figured out what will happen when the sun dies and how that will impact on Earth – but humans won’t be around to witness it. Don’t worry though as the Sun is not expected to die for about another ten billion years. What will happen when the Sun dies? Initially astronomers thought the sun would turn into a planetary nebula – a luminous bubble of gas and dust – but then further evidence cast doubt on this. Now the experts have changed their minds again and said a planetary nebula is the most likely outcome from a dead Sun. But before the sun dies its core is expected to shrink in about five billion years but its outer layers will expand out to the orbit of Mars, meaning Earth will be consumed in the process. However, humans will probably be extinct long before that happens though as the Sun is increasing in brightness by about 10 percent every billion years. That increase will see the oceans evaporate and the surface will become too hot … [Read more...] about What will happen when the sun dies and what is a planetary nebula?