Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SDO Eruption in the News

We have seen many beautiful prominence eruptions with the AIA telescopes. The prominence eruption on June 7, 2011 has made the Washington Post's Space Exploration gallery of 2011. Make sure you check out the movies in several wavelengths in the SDO Gallery.

Friday, November 18, 2011

123rd Anniversary of Standard Time

Ever wonder we have Eastern (or Mountain, or Pacific) Standard Time? You can thank the railroads. On November 18, 1889 railroads in the United States began using the set of "Standard" timezones that we more or less use today. The color blobs in this figure show the timezones used today around the world. Before standard time each community kept track of time. Some important times (such as noon) where announced by ringing bells or another signal. Imagine a train arriving in one town before it left the last one! Not everyone was happy and some towns continued to use local solar time until 1918.

Today we release SDO marked in Coordinated Universal Time (diplomatically called UTC) and International Atomic Time (similarly, TAI). TAI is the number of seconds since midnite January 1, 1958. A series of laboratories keep track of the march of time. UTC maps TAI to almost local solar time at the Greenwich Meridian in England (the line where longitude is 0). This means that UTC has leap seconds to keep up with the slowing down of the Earth's rotation. Right now we have added 34 leap seconds to UTC. We like TAI because it is easy to do differences in time by subtracting the TAI times. This is not true for UTC.

When you look an SDO timestamp it will say Z or UTC if the time is UTC; T or TAI when it is TAI.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

President of Portugal Visits AIA

Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, the President of Portugal, visited the AIA video wall at the LMSAL offices in Palo Alto, CA on November 14, 2011. Here is a picture of Karel Schrijver, the PI for AIA, showing President Silva some of AIA's finest images.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Waves of Destruction during the Launch of SDO

Millersville undergraduate meteorology major, Adam Jacobs, presented "Waves of Destruction" at the 91 Annual Meeting of the AMS in Seattle this past January. The waves are seen starting at about 6 seconds in this video. Adam received a certificate for the best oral presentation of the 18th Conference on Planned and Inadvertent Weather Modification. You can watch his recorded presentation at the AMS Website

Congratulations Adam!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An X1.9 Flare at 2011 Nov 03 2027 UT!

Active region AR11339 let go an X1.9 flare 2011 Nov 03 2027 UT. This large and complex active region just rotated onto the disk and we will watch it for the next 10 days.