Eugene Parker (1927 - 2022)

NASA has just announced the passing away of Eugene Parker (10 June 1927 – 15 March 2022). More than 60 years ago, he proposed the existence of the solar wind and predicted that its magnetic field in the outer Solar System would be in the shape of a spiral. These predictions were later confirmed by spacecraft measurements and the magnetic field lines would be called the Parker spiral. About 35 years ago, he also proposed that the solar corona might be heated by a large number of small flares ("nanoflares"), to explain the coronal heating problem. To honour his ground-breaking contributions on the solar wind, Parker became the first person to witness the launch of a spacecraft bearing his name. NASA's Parker Solar Probe continues its mission today in pursuit of the pioneering questions Parker first envisaged more than a half century ago.

The NASA press release can be found at The tribute by the Parker Solar Probe team is at

Eugene Parker also attended the 5th Solar Orbiter workshop in Bruges in 2012. Pictures of him during the presentation he gave there are at the STCE's dedicated conference website (pages 10 and 11). He also gave a seminar at the ROB shortly after which was then featured in the old STCE movie "About the STCE" (1:32) Aside being one of the great solar physicists of our time, Eugene was also a source of inspiration and motivation for many a scientist. He will be deeply missed.




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