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posted by Fnord666 on Friday April 30, @10:13PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

The Parker Solar Probe continues to set new speed records. It's only a third of the way through its planned 24 orbits, each of which being not only closer to the Sun but faster, too!

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Keeps Its Cool as it Speeds Closer to the Sun:

NASA's Parker Solar Probe has started its eighth science-gathering solar encounter, putting it one-third of the way through its planned journey of 24 progressively closer loops around the Sun.

Its orbit, shaped by a gravity-assist flyby of Venus on Feb. 20, 2021, will bring the spacecraft closer to the Sun than on any previous flyby. At closest approach, called perihelion, on April 29, Parker Solar Probe will come within about 6.5 million miles (10.4 million kilometers) of the Sun's surface, while moving faster than 330,000 miles per hour (532,000 kilometers per hour) – breaking its own records for both speed and solar proximity.

At that speed, how long do you think it would take to make a lap arond the Earth at the equator? For some perspective, imagine driving a car at 120 mph (~200 kph). Pretty quick, right? Going that fast you could lap the Earth in just over 8 days. The Parker Solar Probe would complete that same lap in under five minutes! And, it's not done yet; it's still speeding up!

What is the fastest speed you have ever traveled on Earth? How about in the air?


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by takyon on Friday April 30, @10:22PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday April 30, @10:22PM (#1144916) Journal

    Just perusing the Wikipedia article, and found this instrument:

    Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (IS☉IS) – This investigation will measure energetic electrons, protons and heavy ions. The instrument suite comprises two independent Energetic Particle Instruments, the EPI-Hi and EPI-Lo studying higher and lower energy particles [43] The Principal investigator is David McComas, at the Princeton University.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_Science_Investigation_of_the_Sun [wikipedia.org]

    The shortname includes a symbol for the Sun, a circle with a dot in it: ☉. NASA suggests pronouncing the name as "ee-sis" in English.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:21PM (#1144931)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INilAY6aJTc [youtube.com]

      ...
      A man in the corner approached me for a match
      I knew right away he was not ordinary
      He said, are you lookin' for somethin' easy to catch?
      I said, I got no money he said, that ain't necessary
      We set out that night for the cold in the north
      I gave him my blanket, he gave me his word
      ...

      Check out the violin by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_Rivera [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aiwarrior on Friday April 30, @10:40PM (1 child)

    by aiwarrior (1812) on Friday April 30, @10:40PM (#1144924) Journal

    The detail about the equator circumnavigation taking 5 minutes was a good touch. Thank you to our kind submitters.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by martyb on Sunday May 02, @02:44AM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 02, @02:44AM (#1145272) Journal

      The detail about the equator circumnavigation taking 5 minutes was a good touch. Thank you to our kind submitters.

      Glad you liked it and I very much appreciate the kind words!

      To get a better appreciation for the scale of things, at the speed of light, you could make 7.5 laps of the Earth at the equator in just one second.

      Imagine pointing a bright laser at the moon, it bounces off a retroreflector left by the Apollo astronauts, and you detect the reflection making it's way back to you in... 2.8 seconds.

      Skipping ahead, when New Horizons reached Pluto, it took over 5 hours for any command sent from earth to reach it at the speed of light!

      And that's still relatively nearby in the solar system! Take a look at the Kuiper Belt [wikipedia.org] and the Oort Cloud [wikipedia.org]!

      Inserting obligatory HHGTTG [goodreads.com] quote:

      Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:32PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:32PM (#1144934)

    》 What is the fastest speed you have ever traveled on Earth?

    Didn't clock the speed, but the destination was the bathroom and the cause was bad curry vindaloo... so pretty damned fast.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:42PM (#1144935)

      ... on Earth.

      Well, I was pretty close to the Equator, once.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @07:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @07:29AM (#1145058)

      So you made it to the bathroom, eh?

      Amateur. My resume includes: 1. Using the garbage can like a toilet (technically not a miss, because I made it to the damned bathrooms but they were closed). 2. Roaside and 3. Civil War battlefield (twice). You're not a real Virginian if you haven't crapped on a Civil War battlefield. Fortunately, they're mostly woods and there was nobody else around that day.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:46PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:46PM (#1144937)

    So light travels about 1 Billion Km/hr - we are still far from reaching close to speed of light travel at 532,000km/hr.
    (no we will not get to speed anyway due to limits of needing infinite amounts of energy to push that mass)
    But for fun, how long is that trip now to our nearest neighboring star?
    Alpha Centuri - 4.5 light years away.
    Wow - about 10,000 years at Parker Probe Speeds, humans´ fastest thing.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:53PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @11:53PM (#1144938)

      No longer a problem since Alpha Centauri went supernova 4.4 years ago.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @02:05AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @02:05AM (#1145559)
      It's basically gotten to 0.05% of light speed, so relativistic effects are going to start to become noticeable at this point. Its Lorentz factor is γ = 1.000000125, that amounts to a time dilation of 125 ns, while still a short time on human scales is on the scale of CPU clock speeds. The probe has a mass of 50 kg, so relativistic mass is 6.25 mg more than that. Relativistic kinetic energy is 562 GJ versus 545 GJ for the classical kinetic energy.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by FatPhil on Monday May 03, @08:11AM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday May 03, @08:11AM (#1145612) Homepage
        The concept of "relativistic mass" must die. The thing now has more mass-energy, that's all. "Relativistic mass" was just an "as if" idea that people once thought (like around the mid-1900s) would aid understanding of the concepts, but it turns out that it confuses more than it enlightens, and is therefore counterproductive. Let's keep m m, and just remember to put gamma in everywhere it's needed, much simpler.
        --
        I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @12:07AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @12:07AM (#1144945)

    The feeling was, how would you say? "Fluid" and "Aerodynamic". And the interstate felt very curvy.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @08:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @08:09AM (#1145065)

      And if you took your eyes off the road, you could watch the gas gauge drop...

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @12:21AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @12:21AM (#1144948)

    Should have named the craft "HOT BLACK Desiato."

    When the time comes to plunge in, the Burning Man festival should rename itself "Disaster Zone."

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @12:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @12:24AM (#1144952)
  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday May 01, @02:50AM

    by Gaaark (41) on Saturday May 01, @02:50AM (#1145001) Journal

    But can it do the Kessel run in 12 parsecs?

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channelling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @04:35AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @04:35AM (#1145022)

    On the earth, I travel about 66,668 mi/hr +/- 1,034 mi/hr then +/- what ever vehicle speed I am riding in.

    As I move farther north or south then 1,034 mi/hr will be reduced to 0 at the poles.

    Flying in Plane again that is vehicle speed (highest 600 mi/hr, +/- the "jet stream" you are traveling in can be around another 200 mi/hr.

    And all gives me motion sickness.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @05:51AM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @05:51AM (#1145035)

      forgot to add the speed of earth around the sun and the sun around sagA and so on. then vary depending on which point of the spin/s you are on.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @03:23PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @03:23PM (#1145130)

        Yeah, the question is moot for all who recognizes that THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE frame-of-reference anywhere in the universe. Still, as a general rule of thumb, I always assume I'm moving at least 5 km/s with respect to something somewhere, which reminds me to avoid denser locations (and associates).

        Still, relative to the point where I first appeared in this gravity well (AKA the hospital where I was born), my speed has never exceeded 0.5 km/s, nor my distance from it 13,000 km. Indeed I expect never to exceed those values.

        --
        "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." - Fred Rogers

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pTamok on Saturday May 01, @07:30PM (3 children)

          by pTamok (3042) on Saturday May 01, @07:30PM (#1145201)

          Still, relative to the point where I first appeared in this gravity well (AKA the hospital where I was born), my speed has never exceeded 0.5 km/s, nor my distance from it 13,000 km. Indeed I expect never to exceed those values.

          Stuff and nonsense. The Sun's orbit around the galactic centre takes about 225-250 million years (one galactic year [wikipedia.org]), so you are nowhere near the point in space and time you were born, and the galaxy itself is also moving. The galactic orbital motion is roughly 230 km/s.

          The motion of the galaxy towards the Andromeda galaxy [wikipedia.org] (or Andromeda towards us; we'll collide in about 4-5 billion years) is about 120 km/s; and the local group of galaxies is moving at about 668 km/s [harvard.edu].

          So right now, you're moving at a few hundred kilometres per second from the time and place of your birth, and have been doing since you were born.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @01:58PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, @01:58PM (#1145382)

            You missed the part about the "no absolute" frame-of-reference. Or did you simply misunderstand what I was saying?

            The "point" I define as my origin is the hospital I was born in, and I assume that hospital's locus to be defined always as x=y=z=0 and dx/dt=dy/dt=dz/dt=0. The remainder of the stuff of the universe traverses around that point in a hopelessly complex set of translations and epicycles of rotation. However relative to that frame of reference, my claims for maximum speed and distance are absolutely correct. It is the rest of the universe which is choosing to flee that origin with ever increasing velocities.

            You OTOH seem to prefer the center of the galaxy, or the center of the universe (AKA site of the Big Bang) as a "preferred" origin, and I say, "Each to his/her own perspective." Of course, until our telescopes can discover every last particle of matter/energy in the universe (including the dark kind), good luck trying to find where that point might be - along with your velocity relative thereunto at any particular instant.

            --
            "There's a bathroom on the right." - John Fogerty

            • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Sunday May 02, @05:23PM (1 child)

              by pTamok (3042) on Sunday May 02, @05:23PM (#1145427)

              I see the problem.

              I am saying that the spatial distance to the point in space-time corresponding to your birth is increasing by several hundred kilometres per second (at least), you are defining your origin as where the hospital is at the current time. Both frames of reference are valid.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @08:19AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @08:19AM (#1145614)
                Yes, and he started this subthread and explicitly specified what reference frame he was using, and therefore his choice is the only relevant one. You're just adding noise trying to be smart, and failing horribly. Have a Dunning-Kruger medal.
  • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Saturday May 01, @10:16PM

    by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Saturday May 01, @10:16PM (#1145231) Journal

    Earth, I'm not sure because the speedometer only went to 120MPH. In the air, however fast a passenger jet flies.

    --
    jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
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