CHICAGO (CBS)—A 91-year-old astrophysicist from Hyde Park spoke at the University of Chicago Tuesday, ahead of NASA’s long-anticipated “Parker Solar Probe” next month.
The August 6 space mission to the corona of the sun is said to be NASA’s closest mission to the sun yet.
Astrophysicist Eugene Parker, the first living person to have a spacecraft named after him, is best known for radically-altering ideas about the solar system in the 1950’s by proposing the concept of solar wind, according to the University of Chicago.
As a young scientist at the University of Chicago, Parker showed that the sun radiates a constant and intense stream of charged particles, which travel throughout the solar system at about one million miles per hour, according to the university.
The phenomenon is visible as the halo around the sun during an eclipse, and it can affect missions in space as well as satellite communication systems on Earth.
Parker will be present for the launch of his namesake mission next week at Kennedy Space Center.
See Parker talk at the University of Chicago: