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Parker Solar Probe: Four Years of Discoveries at Solar Cycle Minimum

AuthorRaouafi, N.~E.; Matteini, L.; Squire, J.; Badman, S.~T.; Velli, M.; Klein, K.~G.; Chen, C.~H.~K.; Matthaeus, W.~H.; Szabo, A.; Linton, M.; Allen, R.~C.; Szalay, J.~R.; Bruno, R.; Decker, R.~B.; Akhavan-Tafti, M.; Agapitov, O.~V.; Bale, S.~D.; Bandyopadhyay, R.; Battams, K.; Ber\vci\vc, L.; Bourouaine, S.; Bowen, T.~A.; Cattell, C.; Chandran, B.~D.~G.; Chhiber, R.; Cohen, C.~M.~S.; Amicis, R.; Giacalone, J.; Hess, P.; Howard, R.~A.; Horbury, T.~S.; Jagarlamudi, V.~K.; Joyce, C.~J.; Kasper, J.~C.; Kinnison, J.; Laker, R.; Liewer, P.; Malaspina, D.~M.; Mann, I.; McComas, D.~J.; Niembro-Hernandez, T.; Nieves-Chinchilla, T.; Panasenco, O.; y, Pokorn\; Pusack, A.; Pulupa, M.; Perez, J.~C.; Riley, P.; Rouillard, A.~P.; Shi, C.; Stenborg, G.; Tenerani, A.; Verniero, J.~L.; Viall, N.; Vourlidas, A.; Wood, B.~E.; Woodham, L.~D.; Woolley, T.;
KeywordsParker Data Used; Sun; Corona; Solar wind; plasma; magnetic fields; coronal mass ejections; parker solar probe; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics; Physics - Plasma Physics; Physics - Space Physics
AbstractLaunched on 12 Aug. 2018, NASA s Parker Solar Probe had completed 13 of its scheduled 24 orbits around the Sun by Nov. 2022. The mission s primary science goal is to determine the structure and dynamics of the Sun s coronal magnetic field, understand how the solar corona and wind are heated and accelerated, and determine what processes accelerate energetic particles. Parker Solar Probe returned a treasure trove of science data that far exceeded quality, significance, and quantity expectations, leading to a significant number of discoveries reported in nearly 700 peer-reviewed publications. The first four years of the 7-year primary mission duration have been mostly during solar minimum conditions with few major solar events. Starting with orbit 8 (i.e., 28 Apr. 2021), Parker flew through the magnetically dominated corona, i.e., sub-Alfv\ enic solar wind, which is one of the mission s primary objectives. In this paper, we present an overview of the scientific advances made mainly during the first four years of the Parker Solar Probe mission, which go well beyond the three science objectives that are: (1) Trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind; (2) Determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind; and (3) Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles.
Year of Publication2023
Number of Pages8
Date Publishedfeb