UCLA’s Velli ready for NASA mission

UCLA’s Velli ready for NASA mission
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    So, the Parker Solar Probe is about to launch and have its first solar flyby in November.
    We have plenty of fuel to do another three, four, five years of mission.
    But, after that time the thrusters will burn out and ultimately it will become a sungrazing comet
    And end its life melting in the solar corona.
    Whenever you look at something far away you're really seeing the light
    which is summed up over all the path of everything that comes to you.
    Even observing the solar corona from afar you might ask, "why do we have to go with a solar probe?"
    We can see the corona during eclipses. We know how to build coronagraphs.
    Well, the problem is that we can't really measure the magnetic field there.
    And the observations that we make are really a sum of the whole gas that exists between us and infinity.
    It's not a local measurement. That's why we need to go.
    The energy deposition occurs in bursts-- it's not a continuous flow.
    These bursts are equivalent to millions of hydrogen bombs exploding per hour in the solar corona.
    That's what we're trying to understand.
    Even the defense departments of various nations in the world are beginning to deploy spacecraft whose
    role is to monitor this, what we call space weather.
    Parker Solar Probe has a different goal. It wants to go in to understand the basis.
    What does space weather depend on.
    So, Parker Solar Probe is going to start sending data back in bursts
    because we can only send data back from the probe
    when it's closer to Earth. When this data comes down, we have already set up a
    series of working groups for people trying to study specific problems
    specific data sets. And, of course, the students that we have here at UCLA will
    be involved in all aspects of this.
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