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Thanks to Parker Solar Probe! NASA captures closest ever image of Sun's surface


Washington, Dec 16: Thanks to NASA's Parker Solar Probe, which recently dove deeper into the sun's atmosphere than any spacecraft before. And it has the photos to prove it.

Its approach brought it within 15 million miles - far closer than the planet Mercury - from the Sun's surface, travelling at 213,200 miles per hour, which is the fastest any man-made spacecraft has ever travelled.

Thanks to Parker Solar Probe! NASA captures closest ever image of Suns surface

"Parker is an exploration mission - the potential for new discoveries is huge," says Nour Raouafi, Parker Solar Probe project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University.

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Launched four months ago, the heavily-shielded probe - an exploration craft that will swoop progressively closer to the sun over the next six years - came within 16.9 million miles of the sun's surface when it captured this orange-tinged image on November 8.

The Parker Solar Probe had to travel very quickly to get such a clear view. The Sun rotates once every 27 days, meaning that any spacecraft near it has to keep up, especially given the Sun's massive size.

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