NASA’s Historic Mission to the Sun Gets a Heat Shield

Coronal mass ejection as viewed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on June 7, 2011. Credit: NASA/SDO
In photographs of total solar eclipses, the ethereal halo an observer sees is the sun’s corona. The word means „crown“ in Latin and Spanish, but the beauty of the name masks a scorching reality: 500 kilometers from the sun’s visible surface, coronal temperatures can reach a few million degrees.

By Doris Elin Salazar |

This environment makes the sun a hostile world to study. So to ensure a new NASA mission to the sun succeeds, engineers added protection to the spacecraft, according to a new statement from the space agency. [Get Ready for 2 Solar Eclipses Coming to the US in 2023 and 2024]

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