Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Five Years of SDO

It is hard to believe that the SDO launch was 5 years ago! Tomorrow, February 11, is the fifth anniversary of the SDO launch. It was a cold day in Florida, but the SDO team in Greenbelt was suffering after 4' of snow! The launch was delayed because of winds on the 10th and then rose into the air at 10:23 a.m. ET on the 11th. After several weeks of trimming the observatory into an inclined geosynchronous orbit, the instrument doors opened and we began to see images of the Sun!

Since the launch AIA has taken over 100 million images, with HMI not that far behind at 80 million. EVE has returned over 12 million EUV spectra of the Sun. There have been many science results, with over 2000 papers so far presenting SDO science results. My favorite observations include the trebuchet eruption, comets in the corona, and the Transit of Venus in 2012.

SDO is a great observatory! How about 5 more years?