Research: Micro-explosions occur when the fastest ship comes into contact with dust

The researchers watched the Parker solar probe pass through the densest

area of ​​the zodiacal cloud.As the Parker passes through this area, millions of dust particles come into contact with the spacecraft. During this time, the dust particles become so hot that they first evaporate and then ionize. Rapid evaporation and ionization create a plasma explosion that lasts less than one thousandth of a second. The largest of these explosions creates clouds of debris that slowly recede from the spacecraft.

Study authors David Malaspina and hiscolleagues also studied the interaction of plasma explosions with the solar wind or the flow of ions and electrons that the sun constantly generates. The team watched as the particles of dust and particles on the surface of the ship, drifting after the explosions, formed streaks in the images taken by the navigation and science cameras on the Parker solar probe.

See the giant coronal ejection in the sun captured by the Solar Orbiter

“Many debris scatters sunlight intothe navigation cameras of spacecraft, falling into their field of view, - added the co-author of the study Kaushik Iyer. "They thereby disorient them in space, which can lead to accidents."

The Parker solar probe was launched in 2018.He made nine complete revolutions around the Sun. Before its main mission to explore the circumsolar space is completed in 2025, it will complete 15 more orbits.

Аппарат «Паркер» побил множество рекордов:it came closer to the sun than any other spacecraft, its instruments operated at the highest temperatures, and the probe is the fastest man-made object. Its top speed is over 343,000 km / h. But the spacecraft is moving so fast that a collision with even a tiny speck of dust can cause serious damage due to such a high speed.

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a thick, pancake-shaped dust cloud that stretches across the solar system and consists of tiny dust particles ejected by asteroids and comets

the process by which atoms in an evaporated material are separated into their constituent ions and electrons, creating a state of matter - plasma