spacecraft in front of textured sun surface

NASA spacecraft hopes to catch a flare as it zips past the sun

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has just zipped past the sun, and scientists are extraordinarily excited.

Parker Solar Probe came within 5.3 million miles (8.5 million kilometers) of the sun’s surface Tuesday (Sept. 6) at 2:04 am EDT (0604 GMT) in its 13th close approach of the sun, or perihelion. And this perihelion comes when the sun has been remarkably active, sporting a sunshine the size of Earth and having recently ejected solar flares and geomagnetic storms. Parker hasn’t yet encountered such activity during its close encounters with the sun, but scientists hope that this time around, the spacecraft might catch an outburst.

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