Surprising 1st results from NASA's sun-skimming spacecraft

NASA's sun-skimming spacecraft is surprising scientists with its unprecedented close views of our star. (AP Photo/John Raoux/file)
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) NASA's sun-skimming spacecraft is surprising scientists with its unprecedented close views of our star.

Scientists said Wednesday they've observed bursts of energetic particles never before seen on such a small scale and switchback-like reversals in the out-flowing solar magnetic field.

They also finally have evidence of a dust-free zone encircling the sun. Farther out, there's so much dust from vaporizing comets and asteroids that a viewfinder on one instrument was pierced by a grain.

Launched in 2018, the Parker Solar Probe has come within 15 million miles of the sun and will get increasingly closer over the next six years.