The Solar Orbiter, a satellite aiming to deliver new insights about the sun, blasted off from the Cape Canaveral launch complex in Florida at 11:03 pm on Sunday (0403 GMT on Monday) atop an Atlas V 411 rocket.
New research suggests that long after our roiling, boiling life-giving star runs out of fuel it will slowly form a cold, dead, super-dense crystal sphere about the size of the Earth that will linger like a translucent tombstone for close to eternity.
NASA counted down Friday to the launch of a $1.5 billion spacecraft that aims to plunge into the Sun's sizzling atmosphere and become humanity's first mission to explore a star.
Mercury will reach Aphelion point, which is the farthest point in its orbit around the sun, at 1pm in Qatar on Friday.
Planet Venus will reach the Aphelion point (farthest point) in its orbit around the sun at 8pm Tuesday, Qatar Calendar House (QCH) has said.