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Physicist Eugene Parker, namesake of NASA probe, dies at 94

Eugene Parker.jpg
NASA/Kim Shiflett

CHICAGO, IL (AP)— A physicist who theorized the existence of solar wind and became the first person to witness the launch of a spacecraft bearing his name has died.

Eugene Parker's son says he died Tuesday in Chicago at the age of 94, a decade after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

NASA administrators and University of Chicago colleagues hailed Parker as a visionary. The Houghton native is best known for his 1958 theory of the existence of solar wind. That's a supersonic flow of particles off the sun’s surface.

NASA honored his work by naming a probe destined for the sun after Parker in 2018.

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