Parker Solar Probe Marks Seventh Successful Swing around the Sun

With Parker Solar Probe’s latest closest approach to the Sun in direct view of Earth, some 40 observatories around the globe and several spacecraft, including STEREO, BepiColombo, and Solar Orbiter, made simultaneous observations of activity stretching from the Sun to Earth. Distances and planet and spacecraft locations are not to scale. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Nate Rudolph

There are lots of eyes on the Sun this week, as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe swings around our star on the seventh of its 24 scheduled orbits.

None are closer than Parker Solar Probe, which passed just 8.4 million miles (13.5 million kilometers) from the Sun’s surface while flying at 289,932 miles per hour (466,600 kilometers per hour) on Jan. 17, essentially matching its own records for solar proximity and speed. Around this same time, several spacecraft and dozens of earthbound telescopes were primed to contribute observations that will give scientists a comprehensive and coordinated picture of solar activity.

On Jan. 21, the spacecraft transmitted a “tone one,” indicating all systems were healthy and operating normally after the spacecraft’s close approach to the Sun and heading into the final stretch of the solar encounter, which runs through Jan. 23.

Read the full NASA blog post.

P.S. Late Breaking News: Venus showed the love for Parker Solar Probe this past weekend by giving the satellite a gravity assist for its upcoming “Solar Rendezvous.”