Space exploration for the most part has focussed on the exploration of planets and galaxies further away from the Sun.

As Parker Solar Probe ventures closer to the Sun, it’s crossing into uncharted regimes and making new discoveries. This image represents Parker Solar Probe’s distances from the Sun for some of these milestones and discoveries.

Now that researchers know what to look for, Parker’s closer passes may reveal even more clues about switchbacks and other solar phenomena.

The data to come will allow scientists a glimpse into a region that’s critical for superheating the corona and pushing the solar wind to supersonic speeds.

Such measurements from the corona will be critical for understanding and forecasting extreme space weather events that can disrupt telecommunications and damage satellites around Earth.