(Yicai Global) Aug. 14 -- "After the launch of the Parker Solar Probe in the US, China's Spectral Radioheliograph (CSRH), started to closely follow it and will interact with it in observing the sun," Yan Yihua, president of the International Astronomical Union and director of the Key Laboratory of Solar Activity of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), told state Xinhua News Agency.
The US launched the Parker Solar Probe from a heavy-lift carrier rocket at 13.31 p.m. Aug. 12 Beijing time. It will fly around the sun in an elliptical orbit and the minimum perihelion -- the point in its orbit when it is closest -- with the surface of the sun will be about 6.1 million kilometers, much shorter than that of Mercury, which is the planet closest to the white dwarf star at the center of our solar system.
The US plans to run the probe for seven years. During this time the CSRH at Mingantu Observation Station of China National Observatory in North China's Inner Mongolia will have become the most powerful imaging equipment for solar radio-heliography, which means that it can carry out many scientific interactions with the probe.
The radio observation range of China's CSRH will be enlarged to 700,000 kilometers from the solar surface to seven million kilometers, thus achieving an overlapping observation range with the unmanned craft.
One of the probe's scientific tasks is researching how solar wind accelerates and leaves the solar corona and enters space.
"China's CSRH will cooperate with Parker Solar Probe and their observation data can achieve a simultaneous analysis, two-way verification and mutual supplement," Yan added.
Editor: Ben Armour