July 14, 2024


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Probe breaks new record for fastest thing ever made by humans: ScienceAlert

Probe breaks new record for fastest thing ever made by humans: ScienceAlert

After falling through the solar system at an astonishing speed of 635,266 kilometers (394,736 miles) per hour, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe broke the record for the fastest object ever created by human hands.

The September 27 event marks the turning point of the 17th missiony It orbits the Sun, collecting data on the hot winds of charged particles and violent magnetism surrounding our closest star, coming just under three years later. Her previous record 586,863.4 kilometers (364,660 miles) per hour.

At these speeds, it would be possible for an airplane to circumnavigate our planet about 15 times in one hour, or travel from New York to Los Angeles in just over 20 seconds.

Not only is it a record speed, it’s also a record close to the Sun – just 7.26 million kilometers above the ocean of radiant plasma that we think of as the star’s surface.

Since the Sun is just under 1.4 million kilometers across, this would be akin to standing a few respectable steps away from a roaring campfire. Close enough to smell the smoke, but not so close that your nose hairs burn.

Achieving such amazing feats was not the result of powerful fuel (at least, not entirely), but rather the result of a perfectly timed game of miniature golf.

The Parker Solar Probe’s 17th orbit brought the spacecraft within 7.3 million kilometers of the Sun. (NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben)

For the Parker Solar Probe to get to the scene, it needs to move in and out of the Sun’s corona. Unfortunately, we happen to be standing on a mobile launch pad hurtling through space at tens of thousands of kilometers per hour.

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NASA used a Fat rocket To aim and place their heat-protected ball down the cyan green at a speed intended to help cancel out Earth’s orbital velocity, rolling it straight down the throat of the solar system.

Timing the probe’s path with the transit of Venus takes advantage of the planet’s gravity. Investigation slows down Enough to spin the drain into a slowly diminishing vortex.

After a total of 24 orbits, the Parker Solar Probe should finally tip over the edge and give the space agency a hole in one of the orbits; But not before collecting a pile of information that will help us better model the Sun’s behavior.

With seven more laps to go, we will undoubtedly see these records broken again, each one serving as a reminder of what can be achieved with a little physics and a lot of curiosity.