Astrophysics (Index)About

Parker Solar Probe

(PSP, Parker Probe, Solar Probe, Solar Probe Plus, Solar Probe+)
(space probe to investigate solar corona launched in 2018)

The Parker Solar Probe (PSP or Parker Probe, earlier known as the Solar Probe, Solar Probe Plus, and Solar Probe+) is a spacecraft launched in 2018 to observe the corona of the Sun from near the corona's outer reaches. It is in an eccentric solar orbit which will be tweaked through Venus flybys as the mission proceeds, to further reduce the perihelion. In January 2021, the probe passed closer to the Sun than any previous spacecraft, roughly 0.1 AU. Instruments:

solar radii million km AU
Mercury orbit 83 57.9 0.387
PSP perihelion, 1/2021 19.3 13.5 0.09
PSP perihelion, eventual goal 9.86 6.9 0.045
corona 6 4.2 0.0279
solar radius 1 0.696 0.00465

Further reading: