Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
The Telegraph UK
The Sun UK
The Huffington Post
The Universe Today
The Weekly World News
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
It was so big, it may have shattered old ideas about solar activity.
"The August 1st event really opened our eyes," says Karel Schrijver of Lockheed Martin's Solar and Astrophysics Lab in Palo Alto, CA. "We see that solar storms can be global events, playing out on scales we scarcely imagined before."
The subfield player can be accessed here
Friday, December 10, 2010
This SDO image was chosen for LIFE magazine's 2010 Pictures of Year.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
John Roach writes:NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has captured what appears to be a giant snake slithering along the sun's southeastern limb. The feature is actually a magnetic loop of dense gas suspended over the solar surface.
The snaky filament, which was first noticed last week by NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft stationed over the sun's eastern horizon, showed signs of instability and had the potential for an impressive eruption, according to SpaceWeather.com. You've got to see SpaceWeather's time-lapse animated image of the flare-up.
read the rest here
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
All members of the science community are welcome and encouraged to attend. Additional information, including registration and housing, can be found at http://lws-sdo-workshops.org.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Obtained agreement from the HPA vendor to replace all DC fans with AC fans to improve reliability. The repairs will be done on a rotating cycle to continue operations while units are being repaired.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The Inertial/Science mode pointing test was run on Wednesday, 11/10 between 1800 to 1830 UTC. This tested the STOL procedure that redefines the target attitude to minimize the attitude shift between Science and Inertial modes is minimized. This will benefit future Lunar Transit operations.
The "Sun as an Andy Warhol Poster," made from an AIA image, can be seen in the background of an episode of The Big Bang Theory on CBS, with a short clip on Youtube.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Here comes the Moon! Right on schedule the Moon passes between SDO and the Sun, seen here in the AIA 171 bandpass. We use these transits to understand the pointing of the spacecraft. One of these transits will someday block out an active region so that we can study the energy in that region with EVE. Today's transit covered part of the southern hemisphere, which is pretty quiet, and blocked the quietest part of that.
Next lunar transit is December 6 at 0310 UTC.
Friday, November 5, 2010
An AIA FIrst Light image appeared last nite on the CBS show The Big Bang Theory. You can watch the clip at CBS.com.
Here is a screen shot to orient you to the bookcase behind the door. Thanks to Sara and Sarah for taking the pictures and other goodies to the show!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The Instrument calibration activities were shifted this week to accommodate the 40-hour continuous observation campaign of the Hinode satellite observation. This was to study the emergence and disappearance of magnetic flux at the Sun’s disk center. EVE reported that there was some improvement in the MEGS-B performance after the previous CCD bakeout but they will return to a 24 hour bakeout during the next eclipse period. The FOT updated the jitter wheel speed limits to 850 rpm from the 380 rpm limit set prior to launch.
Friday, October 29, 2010
When: October 29-30, 2010
Time: 6 pm - 4 pm
There will be a scheduled electrical outage in building 21 at Goddard Space Flight Center. Our web server will be shutdown from October 29, 2010 at 6 pm to October 30, 2010 at 4 pm.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
and also see the article at Space.com about Kepler at:
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
SDO is performing several instrument calibration maneuvers today. During these maneuvers the AIA boresight is being moved away from the center of the Sun. When the images are re-centered some of them have lines to the edges of the picture (such as we see in this 211 image). It appears that the re-centering of the images is copying the value at the edge of the field of view rather than zero while the image is being shifted to the center of the picture.
This will affect the rapid images shown on the SDO website and the LMSAL Sun Today website but will be corrected in the science database. However, information that is missing from images because the instrument is not pointed at the Sun cannot be recovered.
Friday, October 22, 2010
When: October 21 & 22, 2010
Time: 4:00pm - 11:00 am
There will be a scheduled electrical outage in building 21 at Goddard Space Flight Center. Our web server will be shutdown on October 21, 2010 at 4pm through October 22, 2010 at 11am.
Monday, October 18, 2010
For more information, visit: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/sdoworkshop2011/
Thursday, October 14, 2010
On October 12 SDO successfully performed a 7-hour roll maneuver to help calibrate the HMI instrument calibration. The spacecraft roll started at same time as HGA handover operation. This complicated the operational sequences but did not stop either maneuver.
While it is easy to point a space-based instrument at the center of the Sun it is more difficult to know the precise location of the Sun's rotation axis. Data from the roll maneuvers help the scientists to understand how their instrument response varies at different angles of the rotation axis. This is then used to more accurately remove the rotation effects from the data.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
They are best seen at solar minimum and disappear at solar maximum. But there may be a hole in the south that we can't see.
The Sun rotates on an axis that is tilted from the Earth's orbit by about 7 degrees. From August to October people watching the Sun from the Earth see the Sun's north pole and the Sun's south pole is invisible. From February to April we can see the south pole but not the north. To see if there is a southern polar coronal hole you need to look at the Sun from another position. We happen to have two STEREO spacecraft almost 90 degrees from the Earth doing just that. If you go to the STEREO webpage you will see there is still a southern polar coronal hole!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Next up is a lunar transit on October 7. Here is an animation of what the lunar transit will look like.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
At this time we are not receiving images from AIA. The data is flowing from SDO to the JSOC, but the ground software is not creating the AIA images we display on the SDO website. Some bandpasses and the HMI images are being updated, but most are not.
The problem is being worked and should be fixed soon.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Today at 1920 UTC SDO used its thrusters to dump momentum from its reaction wheels. These wheels keep SDO pointed at the Sun as it orbits the Earth and the high-gain antennas keep turning. All that turning is transfered to the reaction wheels; every so often we have to reduce the wheel spin rates. We used 20 grams of propellant in the maneuver.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
At this time we are not receiving images from AIA and HMI. The data is flowing from SDO to the JSOC, but the ground software is not creating the images we display on the SDO website. Some bandpasses are being updated, but most are not.
The problem is being worked and should be fixed soon.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
My thanks to the people who keep the data flowing.
Today we have all the images flowing correctly and the movies working. Check out a day's worth of Dopplergrams. Or what happened at about 0600 UTC this morning.
These images in 171 (left) and 304 (right) show a very nice filament eruption in the lower right limb of the Sun. The 304 bandpass is cooler material and we often see eruptions in that channel. The 171 bandpass is hotter material (about 1 million K) and is less common in the erupting material. You can see the plasma in motion by looking at the daily movies for August 13 or through our Browse Data page.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Dopplergrams, like the one on the left, are the raw data of helioseismology, using waves at the surface of the Sun to look inside the Sun. The Dopplergrams are also shown in B&W. Parts of the Sun moving toward you are darker and those moving away are lighter in color. The rotation velocity of the Sun has not been removed and you can see that the left side of the images moves toward SDO and the right side away. That means the Sun is rotating! The pattern seen across the surface shows a convection cell called supergranulation. The Dopplergrams need to be viewed in a movie to show the p-modes.
Movies of the images will be available in a few days when enough images have been collected. You can also visit the HMI website at http://jsoc.stanford.edu/data/hmi/images/latest/ to see these images.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
At this time we are not receiving images from AIA and HMI. The data is flowing from SDO to the JSOC, but the ground software is not creating the images we display on the SDO website.
The problem is being worked and should be fixed soon.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Solar Cycle 24 is starting to come alive and show active regions, sunspots, flares, and CMEs. On Sunday AR 11093, the large magnetic complex in the center of this AIA 171 image from August 10, 2010, had an M-class flare. Two Earth-directed CMEs have been launched in the last 10 days. The only thing that is missing is activity in the southern hemisphere. It is normal for the two hemispheres of the Sun to reach maximum at different times, but there seems to be an increasing lag, with the southern hemisphere reaching maximum later than the northern. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The coronal mass ejection from August 1 hit the Earth at 1740 UT on August 3. It caused a moderate geomagnetic storm resulting in beautiful auroral displays. This photo was taken by Tony Wilder of Chippewa Falls, WI. A second eruption may hit Earth in the next two days, perhaps causing more geomagnetic activity.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
On August 1st around 0855 UT, the Sun let loose a C3-class solar flare. The origin of the blast was Earth-facing sunspot 1092. C-class solar flares are small (when compared to X- and M-class flares) and usually have few noticeable consequences here on Earth. This flare, however, was accompanied by a very fast coronal mass ejection that appears to be heading in Earth's direction.
Coronal mass ejections (or CMEs) are large clouds of charged particles that are ejected from the Sun over the course of several hours and can carry over ten billion tons (10^16 grams) of plasma. They travel away from the Sun at speeds than can exceed several million miles per hour, and can make the 93-million-mile journey to Earth in as little as a day.
read the rest of the article at nasa.gov
Monday, August 2, 2010
Movie showing the eruption
Friday, July 23, 2010
Esquerdo was located on adjacent Mt. Hopkins. "Twice a year, the sun sets behind Kitt Peak as seen from the ridge on Mt. Hopkins and the Whipple Observatory," he says. "Our monsoon thunderstorms cooperated long enough for me to photograph the event."
Kitt Peak is home to more than a dozen world-class telescopes, and many of their silhouettes can be seen in Esquerdo's photo. Highlights include the triangular profile of the great McMath-Pierce solar telescope and the towering dome of the Mayall 4-meter telescope.
Caution: Although sunspot 1089 is large enough to see with the naked eye, looking for it is not recommended. Even when sunlight is dimmed by clouds and haze, you can still suffer permanent eye damage by staring too long at the unfiltered sun. Be careful.
Article republished from spaceweather.com
Sunspot 1089 as seen from SDO:
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
LASCO uses a disk to blot out the bright sun and the inner corona so that the faint outer corona can be monitored and studied. Further, the dark silhouette of the moon was covered with an image of the sun taken in extreme ultraviolet light at about the same time by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The composite brings out the correlation of structures in the inner and outer corona.
Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Williams College Eclipse Expedition
SDO Captures Eruptions on Sun
New high-definition footage from the Solar Dynamic Observatory shows coronal mass ejections, huge eruptions of plasma blasting into space before showering back down on the sun's surface. Discovery Space producer Ian O'Neill explains the phenomenon.
SDO Shines Light on Sun
NASA hopes the Solar Dynamic Observatory will turn its scientists into space weathermen. Discovery Channel?s Dave Mosher and Jorge Ribas learn more about the satellite that's set to launch in December.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Solar Dynamics Observatory Mission Science and Education Featured at American Astronomical Society Meeting
Hot on the heels of the official commissioning of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), on May 17 at Goddard, the spacecraft has begun its science mission and is sending terabytes of data and stunning images to Earth each day.
SDO's images are revealing surprising new insights about how changes on the Sun affect us here on Earth, so it should come as no surprise that public and media interest in the SDO mission has been running at a fever pitch. Most recently, the SDO mission was featured at the 216th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the 2010 Solar Physics Division (SPD) Meeting, held jointly from May 23-27 in Miami, Fla. A number of SDO-related events took place that highlighted the mission’s first science results. Several education and outreach events also took place in conjunction with the meeting.
To read the rest of this article:
Goddard View Volume 6, Issue 5, Page 9
- Here are some articles on the web about this active region
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Now that the AIA and HMI data are flowing through the data system, you can look at images of the Sun and make movies of the Sun. Check out the SDO Browser at http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/aiahmi/browse.php!
You can look at AIA images after May 20, 2010 and HMI magnetograms created after June 20, 2010. We are working to put the EVE SAM images we show on the Sun Now page into the movie database. Check out the enormous coronal hole in the northern hemisphere seen last week in AIA 193.
Monday, July 5, 2010
SDO was featured in a video on NPR's Science Friday website (www.ScienceFriday.com). We described the Sun's magnetic field, the rise to Solar Cycle 24, and how SDO will help to understand the magnetic field. David Hathaway of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center was the guest on the show, discussing solar activity.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Level 1 Product Overview:
The ESP Level 1 irradiance data are fully calibrated and corrected for particle background, visible light leakage, degradation in sensitivity, and spacecraft location (corrected to 1‐AU).
A suborbital sounding rocket payload is flown once a year for EVE absolute calibrations. The first suborbital flight after the launch of SDO was on May 3, 2010. Daily on‐orbit calibrations are performed to track changes in detector dark current, filter condition, and electrometer gain.
Each data file covers a time span of 24 hours with 4 measurement/sec cadence. Level 1 data is available with 1 day latency.
- ESP Level 1 readme (PDF) - This readme (PDF) describes the data in the version 1 ESP level 1 products.
Level 2 Product Overview:
There are 2 types of EVE level 2 products: Spectra (EVS) and Lines (EVL). Level 2 spectra are the merged spectral measurements from the two spectrographs, A and B. The A detector is designed to measure from 6‐17 nm, and 16‐38 nm using two filters, while the B detector is designed to measure 35‐105 nm. Level 2 processing stitches these pieces to form one spectrum.
Lines are integrated from low to high bounds, and the 4 Hz photometer data are averaged down to the same time scale as the spectrum. No continuum is subtracted from the line irradiances.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
We have released the SDO data browser. It allows you to look at movies and still images of the AIA 15-minute cadence data since May 20, 2010.
The features include:
- still images
- movies (as a slide show)
- zip archive download
The web address is: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/aiahmi/browse.php
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), one of three instruments aboard SDO, allowed scientists to discover that even minor solar events are never truly small scale. Shortly after AIA opened its doors on March 30, scientists observed a large eruptive prominence on the sun's edge, followed by a filament eruption a third of the way across the star's disk from the eruption.
"Even small events restructure large regions of the solar surface," said Alan Title, AIA principal investigator at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif. "It's been possible to recognize the size of these regions because of the combination of spatial, temporal and area coverage provided by AIA."
Monday, May 24, 2010
Dark Filament of the Sun
Explanation: Suspended by magnetic fields above a solar active region this dark filament stretches over 40 earth-diameters. The ominous structure appears to be frozen in time near the Sun's edge, but solar filaments are unstable and often erupt. The detailed scene was captured on May 18 in extreme ultraviolet light by cameras on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory. While the cooler plasma of the filament looks dark, hotter, brighter plasma below traces magnetic field lines emerging from the active region. When seen arcing above the edge of the Sun, filaments actually look bright against the dark background of space and are called prominences.
Credit: NASA / Goddard / SDO AIA Team
Friday, May 21, 2010
Scientists at Stanford University and Lockheed Martin are playing pivotal roles in a nearly billion-dollar NASA mission to explore the sun. A spacecraft launched in early 2010 is obtaining IMAX-like images of the sun every second of the day, generating more data than any NASA mission in history.
Monday, May 10, 2010
We have had haikus and sonnets written about the commissioning phase. Now a First Light poem, written by Stuart Atkinson about the prominence eruption on March 30, 2010.
And at last, the secret of our solar system's star has been revealed:
Concealed beneath its brightly shimmering, ever-shifting shells
Of ancient hydrogen a mighty dragon lies; planet-sized
Eyes flashing with photon fire, riding the great plasma tides
Boiling up from Sol's deep core, it roars in raw delight,
Feeding on the brutal fusion light throbbing beneath its feet...
Hiding in the Sun's dark heart it bathes in nuclear fire,
Revelling in its fury, rolling in it, each beat of its wings
Sending great waves of energy slamming up into the
Chromosphere to ripple and roil across Sol's surface
In tsunamis of atomic fire, to the amazement of those watching,
Wide-eyed, on Faraday's far-away Earth...
But these images reveal the dragon is not alone;
The Sun's firestorm fields clearly have shielded
Our prying eyes from flocks of phoenixes flying
In the dragon's wake. Each time a starfirebird bursts
Through the seething surface of our star we see
A glorious prominence leaping into space;
Every feathered, towering arch traces out the path
Of a phoenix's graceful rise and fall.
Each time one manages to break free
Of the Sun's greedy gravity we see a
Fiery red banner billow out, tatter and tear,
Flapping away like it had never been there...
© Stuart Atkinson 2010
Large Eruptive Prominence Movie from SDO
Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO AIA Team
Explanation: Sometimes part of the Sun can just explode into space. These explosions might occur as powerful solar flares, coronal mass ejections, or comparatively tame eruptive solar prominences. Pictured above is one of the largest solar prominence eruptions yet observed, one associated with a subsequent coronal mass ejection. The prominence erupted last month and was recorded by several Sun-sensing instruments, including the recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The above time lapse sequence was captured by SDO and occurred over a few hours. In recent months, our Sun has becoming increasingly active, following a few years of an unusually dormant solar minimum. Over the next few years our Sun is expected to reach solar maximum and exhibit a dramatic increase in sunspots and all types of solar explosions.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
10:02: yo-yo despin
10:05: ejection of yo-yo despin cables
10:10: Black Brandt 2nd stage falling away toward Earth
10:12: Shutter door with crush bumper opening
10:16: Switch to nose-viewing camera
10:20: Nose cone ejection and seeing the nose cone fall away
10:40: Solar acquisition
Monday, May 3, 2010
"SDO has just observed a massive eruption on the sun—one of the biggest in years," says Lika Guhathakurta of NASA headquarters in Washington DC. "The footage is not only dramatic, but also could solve a longstanding mystery of solar physics."
Karel Schrijver of Lockheed Martin's Solar and Astrophysics Lab is leading the analysis. "We can see a billion tons of magnetized plasma blasting into space while debris from the explosion falls back onto the sun surface. These may be our best data yet."
Click here to read the rest of the article
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
- CNN - NASA unveils new images of the sun
Popular Science - NASA Reveals Solar Dynamics Observatory's First Fiery Images
- Space.com - 'Spectacular' First Images from New Solar Observatory Released
- Wired - New Space Telescope Delivers First Mind-Blowing Video of the Sun
- BBC News - Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory returns first images
- KOLD News - New solar satellite now live, online
- CBC News - NASA shows 1st images from solar observatory
- Discovery News - Diving Deep into a Solar Prominence (SDO First Light) : Big Pic
- 9 News Colorado - NASA shows 1st images from solar observatory
- NASA Science News - First Light for the Solar Dynamics Observatory
- Fox News - NASA Releases Stunning Images of the Sun
- CBS News - NASA Solar Observatory Shines Spotlight on Sun
- ABC News - NASA Shows 1st Images From Solar Observatory
- National Geographic Pictures
- Information Week - First HD Images Of The Sun Captured
- MSNBC - 'Spectacular' sights come from solar probe
- New Scientist - 'Rings of fire' erupt from sun in NASA probe's first videos
- Scientific American - NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory producing sun science that doubles as eye candy
- 20 Minuten Online - Hautnah an der Sonne
- Astronomy Picture of the Day
- Express - Staring at the Sun
- Ciel et Espace - Le Soleil croqué par SDO
- London Times - Sun is frozen in dazzling new detail
- 20 minutos - Las espectaculares imágenes del Sol captadas por la sonda SDO
- El Pais - Detalles del Sol en fotos de estreno
- Milenio.com - NASA difunde fotos nunca antes vistas del sol
- Informador.com - La NASA difunde espectaculares fotos del sol tomadas por sonda SDO
- Peru 21 - Espectaculares imágenes del Sol
- Index.hu - A Nap, ahogy még soha nem láttuk
- Der Spiegel - The Sun's New Light
- New York Times OpEd - View of the Sun
- CNET - Stunning new images of the sun (photos)
- Technology News World - NASA Observatory Sheds New Light on Sun
- Guardian - Nasa probe sends home dazzling pictures of the sun
Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, SDO is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun and its dynamic behavior. The spacecraft will provide images with clarity ten times better than high definition television and more comprehensive science data faster than any solar observing spacecraft in history.
To read more on this media advisory, click here
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
I realize I’m growing weary of Haiku.
But still I’d like to express myself in some old fashioned way
And at the same time, try something new.
So tonight, I write in the form of a sonnet
Like the Bard would have, centuries ago.
But when it comes to news, though you might want it
I have very little to report that you don’t already know.
The Observatory continues her graceful figure eight,
SDOGS2 remains watchful and ready for command,
But there are no activities planned for this date,
And thus, the uplink is short on demand.
Thus concludes a nominal shift report:
I have expressed myself, and await your retort.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Eadweard Muybridge is the father of stop action photography. He developed techniques to look at tumbling humans and moving animals. One of his most famous works was to see whether a galloping horse had all four hooves off the ground at the same time. Muybridge set up a series of cameras on the grounds of Stanford University and took 16 photographs that proved the horse gathered all four hooves under its belly at one instant in the gallop stride.
SDO uses similar techniques to make movies of coronal loops, magnetic fields, and prominence eruptions. We also need to ensure we sample the time intervals quickly enough and our pixels are small enough to see what is actually happening on the Sun. Muybridge answered similar questions as he studied animal locomotion.
Muybridge’s photographs are on display through July 18, 2010 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC.