Commenting on the news that NASA's Parker Solar Probe has now travelled closer to the sun than any other man-made object, Professor Sandra Chapman from the University of Warwick's Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, said
"As of Oct 23 Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the Sun than Mercury is, which means we can take direct in-situ measurements of the inner solar wind for the first time.
"Previous missions have provided line-of-sight observations and suggest that the inner solar wind is very 'clumpy' rather than smooth.
"It is important to understand the physics of the highly variable solar wind - the sun's expanding atmosphere - as it drives space weather at earth which can disrupt communications, power transmission, satellites and avionics, as well as providing spectacular auroral displays.”
30 October 2018
Peter Thorley, Media Relations Manager - University of Warwick
E: Peter dot Thorley at warwick dot ac dot uk