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Science / Space

A NASA spacecraft has officially 'touched the sun' for the first time

Space Touch the Sun
Steve Gribben
/
Johns Hopkins APL/NASA via AP
This image made available by NASA shows an artist's rendering of the Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun. On Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, NASA announced that the spacecraft has plunged through the unexplored solar atmosphere known as the corona in April, and will keep drawing ever closer to the sun and diving deeper into the corona.

The craft pierced the corona and will continue drawing closer to the sun.

A NASA spacecraft has officially “touched” the sun, plunging through the unexplored solar atmosphere known as the corona.

Scientists announced the news Tuesday.

The Parker Solar Probe actually flew through the corona in April during the spacecraft's eighth close approach to the sun.

Scientists say it took a few months to get the data back and then several more months to confirm it.

The spacecraft was 8 million miles from the center of the sun when it first crossed the uneven boundary between the solar atmosphere and outgoing solar wind.

It will keep drawing ever closer to the sun and diving deeper over the next 3 1/2 years.