Friday, July 13, 2012

A Busy Week for SDO

It has been a busy week for SDO. On Tuesday we did an EVE cruciform maneuver, where we point SDO back and forth and up and down to explore how EVE is working. At left is an AIA image taken during the cruciform.
On Wednesday the Hi-C rocket lifted off from White Sands Missile Range (just over the mountains from the SDO ground station) and took high-resolution images of the Sun. I haven't seen any images yet, but I'm sure they will look great!
Next, on Thursday we watched an X1.4 flare bloom out of AR 1520 (circled in the AIA 193 image at left.) The last X-class flare was from AR 1515 when it was near the limb (the right side of the Sun), so seeing one at disk center is pretty nice. We even got some news stories written about this flare:
With 2 X-class flares in 2 week it looks like the southern hemisphere is moving toward solar maximum!