A human-made object has touched the surface of the sun for the first time, according to ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker.
“This was one of the big goals in the solar Parker probe was to get so close so it could start to touch the outer edge of the sun,” he told Sky News Australia.
“The sun’s outer edge or kind of like its atmosphere, we call it a corona, so it extends for a long way from the sun, so not talking about getting directly on the surface, we’re a little bit further.”
Dr Tucker said the probe would have to withstand exceedingly high temperatures as the sun’s corona is hotter than the surface and was made to withstand 1,600 degrees Celsius.
“This is one of the weird things about the sun, the way the sun creates this nuclear fusion, it’s a big nuclear reactor, heat slowly gets out to the surface, is trapped, and then released and heats up the area around it,” he said.
Dr Tucker also said the probe would help to discover more about the sun and how solar winds and weather are created.
“This is all about creating better weather.”