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.
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.”