Thursday, June 12, 2014

@NASA_SDO Won't Tweet Anymore

The @NASA_SDO and @NASA_SDO_EDU Twitter feeds are changing. The main feed, @NASA_SDO, has ended and traffic will be redirected to @NASASunEarth. The teacher feed, @NASA_SDO_EDU, is now being handled by people at Stanford University.

@NASA_SDO was one of the first Twitter feeds providing updates about a NASA mission. It was where the first NASA TweetUp for launch was posted. The First Light press conference was attended by several Twitter correspondents, who sent out their impressions on this feed. @NASA_SDO was where Comet Lovejoy reappeared as the Phoenix comet and where Comet ISON never even showed up. I hope the 17K followers keep up with the SDO updates on @NASASunEarth and @TheSunToday.

Many thanks to @AleyaJean for bringing Twitter to SDO! #SadToSeeItEnd

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Another Double Whammy from Active Region 12087!

Active Region 12087 rotated into view yesterday and produced 2 X-class flares. This morning it produced an M8 and an X1 flare about an hour apart. Here is an AIA 94 Å passband image from 0914 today showing the second flare. At the same time the AR 12080/12085 area also had a brightening (as can be seen by the vertical line in this image) and a small piece of AR 12082 also brightened.

Makes you want to get up early in the morning just to see what's happening on the Sun!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Great Day in the Mornin', A Double X-flare

This morning a new active region rotated into view on the solar disk and promptly emitted two X-class flares. Here is a movie of the first flare in the AIA 1600 passband. It peaked in the NOAA X-ray channel at 1142 UTC. You can see the flare and some footpoints down and to the right of the flare. You can also see material blowing off the sun. The geometric shapes that are visible during the peak of the flare are reflections of the front window of the telescope. 

It's going to be an interesting week on the Sun!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dr. Thomas Duvall, Jr., wins the 2014 AAS/SPD Hale Prize

Last night the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society awarded their highest honor to Tom Duvall, a NASA scientist who spent his career using the waves seen at the surface of the Sun to look inside the Sun. Dr. Duvall then gave the Hale Prize lecture where he described the many ways helioseismology has grown since the waves were first seen in the 1960's. His observations of the Sun at the South Pole showed how important continuous strings of data where to understand the Sun. His later work with SOHO MDI and SDO HMI pushed his students to develop ever-better ways to look inside the Sun. After describing the inside of the Sun, he showed how the techniques of helioseismology have been adapted for seismology and metal fatigue.

The Hale Prize is awarded annually by the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society for outstanding contributions over an extended period of time to the field of solar astronomy. The prize is named in memory of George Ellery Hale, who discovered the magnetic field in sunspots and also developed the observing techniques that made local helioseismology possible.

The citation for Dr. Duvall reads:

Hale Prize for 2014

The Hale Prize has been awarded to Thomas Duvall, Jr., for his invention and application of innovative helioseismic methods and the resulting ground-breaking discoveries within the solar interior, including internal sound-speed and rotation profiles, meridional circulation, wave perturbations in sunspots, and large scale convection properties.

Congratulations Tom for a well-deserved award!