Project Lead CGAUSS for Parker Solar Probe, Institute for Astrophysics and Geophysics, University of Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Volker Bothmer uses state-of-the-art spacecraft observations for his research in solar and heliospheric physics. He was involved in the planning and payload design of missions like STEREO and Parker Solar Probe as a member of NASA’s Science and Technology Definition Teams. He currently leads the German project CGAUSS as national contribution to the WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar PRobe) camera on board the Parker Solar Probe mission. He is a co-investigator of the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI) and of the PUNCH (Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere) mission’s science team. He has led various contributions to national and international space weather projects, such as the EU project AFFECTS (Advanced Forecast For Ensuring Communications Through Space), and for the ESA Space Safety Program. His research focuses on coronal mass ejections and their effects in the heliosphere, especially on Earth. His university lectures include solar physics, ground- and space-instrumentation, and data analysis techniques. His publications include science firsts, invited reviews, public outreach articles, and instrumentation and mission proposals. He has organized international symposia and workshops and convened and chaired various conference sessions at major international meetings. He has been awarded the Julius Bartels Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2021 for outstanding research in solar-terrestrial sciences.
Pioneering exploration of the solar corona and near Sun environment – Highlights from the Parker Solar Probe mission
Since its launch in 2018 NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (PSP) spacecraft will have completed 17 orbits around the Sun at times of the ACAG8 conference. the spacecraft has approached the After six Venus gravity Sun assists the spacecraft has approached the Sun to 7.9 million kilometers, i.e. 95% of the total distance Sun to Earth of 150 million kilometers. After the seventh planned Venus gravity assists it will get as close as 6 million kilometer above the Sun’s surface in December 2024. With the spacecraft’s passage through the sub-alfvénic corona in April 2021 it has become a historic space mission – humanity’s first visit of the outer atmosphere of a star. PSP has provided a treasure trove worth of in-situ and remote sensing data that have revealed phenomena never seen before in terms of generation of solar wind turbulence, fine-structures of coronal mass ejections, solar energetic particle flows, traces of dust particles and even new planetary, asteroid and cometary observations. These measurements are ideally complemented by simultaneous observations from other space borne missions, such as SOHO, STEREO and SDO, and observations from ground-based observatories. This presentation presents mission highlights, latest observations and the mission’s current status.