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Marshall Scientist Finds Place in the Sun With Solar Probe Instrument Win
09.30.10
 
Janet Anderson
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Ala.
256-544-0034
janet.l.anderson@nasa.gov

Image release: 10-129


An artist's rendering of Solar Probe Plus. › Large (2250 x 2207, 300 ppi)
› Medium (516 x 447, 72 ppi)
› Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)

The Solar Probe Plus flagship science mission begins its dive into the outer layer of the sun's atmosphere in this artist's rendering. A research team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has secured an $8.2 million award to help build parts for and test an instrument for the mission, which promises to transform our understanding of the sun and its effects on the solar system. Solar Probe Plus is slated to launch no later than 2018. (NASA/MSFC/Janet Salverson)

The solar probe cup › Large (1600 x 1200, 180 ppi)
› Medium (516 x 387, 72 ppi)
› Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)

The NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., and the University of Alabama at Huntsville have partnered to design, manufacture and operate a prototype instrument, the solar probe cup sensor, for NASA's upcoming Solar Probe Plus flagship science mission to study the sun. The solar probe cup seen here, called a Faraday cup, is a conductive metal device designed to catch charged particles in a vacuum, such as exists in space. When a beam of ions hits the metal, it gains a small net charge. The resulting current can be measured to determine the number of ions hitting the cup. The device was named for British physicist Michael Faraday, who first theorized ions in 1830. (NASA/MSFC/Ken Wright)

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