A NASA probe has plunged into the sun’s atmosphere as part of a daring mission to learn more about our closest star.
The journey marks the car-sized Parker Solar Probe’s closest solar encounter yet, coming closer to the sun than any man-made object in history.
It began its plunge on Thursday evening and will be out of communication with Earth for several days.
Swooping within 15 million miles of the sun’s surface, the probe will endure temperatures of 2,372 degrees Fahrenheit on its trip.
During the encounter, all four instruments aboard the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) will be collecting data from the sun’s out atmosphere, or “corona.”
Any data collected will be sent back to Earth this spring within a period of several weeks.
It marks the second of 24 planned flybys for the spacecraft.
The last of these, in 2024, will see PSP make a “final descent” into the sun where it will burn up under extreme temperatures.