NASA's Parker Solar Probe Teams Up With MLSO and WHPI

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Friday, June 12, 2020

NASA released a story about the The Whole Heliosphere and Planetary Interactions (WHPI) campaign that took place in coordination with Parker Solar Probe’s fourth perihelion.

Solar scientists are collecting observations from an ever-expanding list of observatories in space and on the ground, especially MLSO and the Parker Solar Probe. The current solar minimum of 2020—when solar activity is at its lowest level—"...provides perfect conditions to trace the solar wind from the Sun to Earth and the planets," said Giuliana de Toma, a solar scientist at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO), who led coordination among observatories. "It is a time when we can follow the solar wind more easily, since we don't have disturbances from the Sun."

The WHPI campaign organizers, co-led by Sarah Gibson, also at HAO, brought together observers from all over the world to gather observations: covering not only the Sun and effects on Earth, but also data gathered at Mars and the nature of space throughout the solar system — all in concert with Parker Solar Probe's fourth and closest-yet flyby of the Sun.

Data from the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory in Hawaii shows a jet of material being ejected near the Sun's south pole on Jan. 21, 2020. Coronal jets like this are one solar wind feature that scientists hope to observe more closely with Parker Solar Probe, as the mechanisms that create them could shed more light on the solar wind's birth and acceleration. "It would be extremely fortunate if Parker Solar Probe observed this jet, since it would provide information on plasma and the field in and around the jet not long after its formation," said Joan Burkepile, lead scientist for the Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory K-coronagraph instrument at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory.

Link to complete NASA article