Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SDO Weekly Report for March 15, 2012

The FOT successfully performed SDO momentum unload maneuver #9 on 3/14. The firing of our thrusters for a few seconds is sufficient to keep our reaction wheels within safe speeds. (Here is a thruster being tested before launch.)

No comet was seen last week, either in AIA or emerging from perihelion in the various coronagraphs. Lovejoy continues as the only Kreutz comet to survive perihelion in the SOHO era. SDO is not in a good position to see Kreutz comets, they approach from behind and must survive perihelion to be visible. From June to December we will be in a better vantage point for seeing comets disintegrate in the solar corona.