Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Happy 11th Birthday to SDO

SDO was launched 11 years ago on February 11, 2010. It was a beautiful launch into mostly clear skies over the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SDO has watched almost all of Solar Cycle 24, and now the beginning of Solar Cycle 25. Scientists have used SDO data to publish over 5000 papers on how the Sun works, emphasizing the creation and destruction of the solar magnetic field. Here's a movie of the Sun in AIA's 193 Å passband on February 11, 2021, showing a large filament (dark line in the southern hemisphere) just outside of a dark coronal hole. There's a bright region to the left of the filament that sits over a magnetic field concentration that never formed a sunspot. It looks like Solar Cycle 25 will be as much fun as SC 24!