Which of these places is believed to have the highest temperature?
Is it the sun`s surface, the sun`s corona or atmosphere, Earth`s core, or Mercury`s surface?
The sun`s atmosphere or corona is thought to be about 300 times hotter than its surface and no one knows why.
But scientists are hoping to get some more information about the sun`s mysterious corona and the rest of the star. NASA is planning to send a spacecraft there on the first mission to fly into the sun`s atmosphere. The outermost part of it anyway.
The sun is 93 million miles away from the Earth, and the Parker solar probe is scheduled to orbit the star from a distance of more than 3 million miles. It`s not nearly as hot there as in the sun`s 3 million degree corona. But the spacecraft will still have to endure temperatures of 2,500 degrees, and to do that, it will have a coat of carbon solar shields measuring almost five inches thick.
The mission costs $1.5 billion. It`s scheduled to launch in the summer of 2018. Scientists hope it will help them better understand solar wind, improve space weather forecasting and learn more about stars in general.
Humans cannot go on the deep space mission. It`s scheduled to last seven years. The spacecraft probably won`t come back to Earth. An expert say it would cost a lot more to send a person into deep space and keep him or her alive in the process than it does to send a spacecraft or even a robot.