The American space agency NASA is planning a mission to the sun in order to explore the outer atmosphere of our solar system’s star.
The Parker Solar Probe and will launch in the summer of 2018. It is planned to go into orbit about 4 million miles from the sun’s surface, closer than any other man-made object in history. Astronomers expect to get information on the corona, the gases and plasma of the sun’s atmosphere.
The probe will also explore solar winds, storms and magnetic fields. These phenomenacan affect communication and electric signals on Earth. In addition, scientists expect to get more data on space weather, which is important for longer future missions to Mars.
The probe, named after American solar astronomer Eugene Parker, can provide insight into the structure of our solar system and give us more information on how stars, like our sun, work.
The Parker Solar Probe must cope with extreme heat and radiation. The specially designed heat shield is over 10 cm thick and can withstand temperatures of 1,300 degrees Celsius.
The 7-year mission will be made up of 24 orbits around the sun. The probe will pass by Venus 7 times and use the planet’s gravity to position itself inside the sun’s outer atmosphere.
Up to now, the closest a spacecraft ever got to the sun was Helios 2 , which passed the star at a distance of 27 million miles in 1976.
affect = influence
astronomer = scientist who studies the stars and planets
atmosphere = the gases around a planet or the sun
cope = deal with a problem
data = information
explore = to find out more about something
gravity = the power or force that causes an object to be pulled towards a planet
heat shield = piece of metal that protects you from fire or extreme heat
in addition = also
insight = being able to understand something
magnetic field = the area around an object that has magnetic power
mission = longer trip to an unknown place
orbit = to move around an object in circles
phenomena = something that happens or exists in nature and is studied because it is difficult to understand
position = to move to the correct place
radiation = waves of energy that come from light or heat
solar = about the sun
space agency = organisation that plans missions to planets and stars
surface = the top layer of a planet or star
withstand = to be strong enough to protect something
Researchers have found out that the size of an animal is important when it comes to extinction. Scientists have determined that the biggest and the smallest animals are more at risk of dying out than medium-sized animals.
Heavy animals are mostly endangered by hunting and poaching while the smallest creatures may die out because their living area is being polluted. Among the most endangered animals are elephants, lions and rhinos. Public awareness is large and campaigns to save such animals have been around for a long time. It is the smallest species that get the leastattention. Especially fish and frogs are in danger of dying out.
The species that are most at risk have a weight of over 1 kilogram. They are in danger of being killed because we need food, skin and other items.
According to the study, animals that are becoming extinct affect large ecosystems, like forests, deserts and oceans.
according to = as said by …
affect = to change a situation or a place
attention = to listen, look at or think carefully about something
campaign = actions that lead to solving a special problem
determine = to find out the facts about something
ecosystem =all the animals and plants that live in a certain area and how they live together
extinction = when a plant or animal stops existing
least = less than anything else
poaching = to catch or shoot wild animals illegally
pollute = to make something dirty and unusable
public awareness = most people know that a problem exists
researcher = person who studies a subject in order to find out something new about it.
scientist = a person who is trained in science
skin = the outer part of a person or an animal’s body
size = how big something is
species = group of animals that are similar and can have babies with each other
After 20 years in space NASA’s Cassini mission is coming to an end in April. The spacecraft , which was launched in 1997 to explore Saturn and its moons, is running out of fuel and will crash on Saturn’s surface .
Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004, after a 7-year long journey. It carried the Huygens probe, which landed on Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005. In the last decade Cassini has been exploring the planet and its moons. Recently , the spacecraft has revealed that there are giant oceans under the frozen surfaces of some of Saturn’s moons. It also discovered the existence of hydrogen , one of the building blocks of life.
In its last task before hitting Saturn’s surface , Cassini will pass through the space between the planet’s surface and its rings. It will travel closer to Saturn than ever before. NASA scientists expect Cassini to find out even more about the Saturn’s mysterious rings than we already know.
arrive = here: to get to a planet
building block = an element that is needed to produce something else
decade = ten years
discover = to find something for the first time
explore = to find out more about something that has just been discovered
fuel = energy that an object uses to travel
giant = very large
hydrogen = a colourless gas; the lightest of all gases
journey = trip
launch = to start a journey
mission = long trip, often to a place that is not known very much
mysterious = strange and unusual
probe = a small unmanned spacecraft
recently = a short time ago
reveal = show
scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a lab
spacecraft = object that can fly through space and to other planets