It is crucial to discern the connection between the planets and the solar ecosystem to understand the space environment. This study is known as heliophysics and involves tracing the cataclysmic behavior of the planetary bodies and the debris occupying space.
The series of space events in 2020 is establishing a perfect environment for space exploits. These events include the development of one of the finest observatories called the Parker Solar Probe and Sun’s activity, which is currently tolerable for scientists and astronauts to study its background. The researchers can probe the effects of the Sun on the solar system from all perspectives.
The Sun is the biggest star with a magnetic field that flows out to the surrounding planetary objects in the form of the solar wind. Various researchers are studying the effect of this magnetic field on the solar system. One of the breakthroughs in this quest is the Parker Solar Probe, an observatory capable of voyaging past 3.8 million miles from the Sun’s visible distance. This observatory is now widely known after carefully observing the Sun in four different encounters.
Initial encounters of the Parker with the Sun shows photos detailing the Sun’s atmosphere. The Parker Solar Probe is the first observatory to come into contact with the Sun’s solar wind before it reaches the Earth. They were able to identify the particular spot on the Sun, giving out this solar wind.
Nour Raouafi, the project scientist for Parker Solar Probe mission, says that they are looking into the region of the Sun that gives out these solar winds. He singles out their intention to understand the dynamics of the source region that lead to the variations in the evolution and the eventual dispersion of the solar winds to the surroundings. Other supporting teams in this probe are space missions and ground-based observatories who plan to help map out the real deal of the solar winds.
During this ubiquitous period, scientists have another task of understanding the ongoing astronomical solar minimum. In this period, the Sun’s solar activity is lowest and abrupt eruptions like solar flares, solar ejections, and momentous energy eruptions are scarce. Therefore, scientists can have a close perception of the Sun’s influence on the solar system.
High Altitude Observatory solar scientists Giuliana de Toma highlights that this is the period for understanding the trails of the solar winds from the Sun and their consequent effects on the planets. He outlines this period as an opportunity for direct research on cosmic radiations.
Sarah Gibson is well-known for co-leading similar expeditions when there occur solar minimums. Scientists are continually pooling their data in such exotic events of the Sun to arrive at a conclusive perception on the formation and distribution of solar winds.
The data must reach the Whole Heliosphere and Planetary Interactions (WHPI) umbrella for further classification and analysis. This WHPI also gathers data on other space expeditions like lunar and Mars to comprehend the entire solar system and form a trustworthy knowledge base.
Finally, scientists are confident that they can unlearn more truths hidden in the solar system by taking advantage of the favorable Sun activity.