The Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar PRobe (WISPR) is the sole imager aboard the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission, which launched in August 2018. PSP is a unique mission designed to orbit as close as 7 million km (9.86 solar radii) from Sun center. WISPR employs a 95◦ radial by 58◦ transverse field of view to image the fine-scale structure of the solar corona, derive the 3D structure of the large-scale corona, and determine whether a dust-free zone exists near the Sun. WISPR is the smallest heliospheric imager to date yet it comprises two nested wide-field telescopes with large-format (2 K × 2 K) APS CMOS detectors to optimize the performance for their respective fields of view and to minimize the risk of dust damage, which may be considerable close to the Sun. The WISPR electronics are very flexible allowing the collection of individual images at cadences up to 1 second at perihelion or the summing of multiple images to increase the signal-to-noise when the spacecraft is further from the Sun. The dependency of the Thomson scattering emission of the corona on the imaging geometry dictates that WISPR will be very sensitive to the emission from plasma close to the spacecraft in contrast to the situation for imaging from Earth orbit. WISPR will be the first ‘local’ imager providing a crucial link between the large-scale corona and the in-situ measurements.
On November 12, 2019, data recorded by our Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) imaging instrument aboard the NASA Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission became publicly releasable! That means you can now download all the WISPR data from PSP's first two 'encounters' over on our data retrieval page, where we provide links to the science data (FITS format), and browse images in PNG and MPG format (as seen below). Moving forward, the data from future encounters will be made available within 90 days of receipt of all telemetry for that encounter with the next data set (Encounter 3) anticipated to be released in early 2020.
To celebrate the release of the WISPR data, below are two movies from each of the first two PSP encounters. The movies show the combined fields of view of the inner and outer WISPR telescopes.
In these movies, the Sun is outside of the left-hand edge of the field of view (at 0-degrees longitude on the x-axis scale shown… more