solar dynamics observatory

December 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

found the sdo site of nasa which has up to date images from the sun in different frequency ranges and colours. you can watch sun as it changes (it is like every half an hour or so). beside all the serious stuffs in the site there are also fun links, for example, the site has a pick of the week photo which makes a very nice background for your computer (choose here from different colours). the solar flares and solar corona makes an unreal and unbelievable image of the sun, which is very different from the image that most of us have in mind. it also gives us another different mental image, a sense of how changeable the sun is.

pick of the week

pick of the week courtesy of nasa

another fun to read part of the site is the facts section, which blows your mind away, read this one for example: it takes 200,000 years for light to make it from the core to the surface of the sun but then only 8 minutes to reach the earth!

ok now the serious stuffs,which i excerpt from the sdo guide on the site!

the sdo mission is to study and observe the solar activities and their effects on the earth climate. the data is gathered from the sun’s interior, its magnetic field, the hot plasma of the solar corona and the radiations. beside influence on the weather, the solar flares and coronal mass ejections can also cause the disabling of the satellites and cut off communications. the sdo instruments are taking photos from sun continuously.

the sdo spacecraft has three main instrments; atmospheric imaging assembly (aia) which consists of four telescopes that photograph the sun on 10 different frequency ranges and colours, extreme ultraviolet variability experiment (eve) which measures the ultraviolet radiation of the sun that affects the upper layers of the earth’s atmosphere, and helioseismic and magnetic imager (hmi) which maps the magnetic field beneath the sun’s surface.

sdo spacecraft

sdo spacecraft courtesy nasa

sdo was launched on february 11, 2010 at 10:23 am est. it is part of a nasa’s living with a star program (lws) that is to provide the scientific understanding needed for the united states to effectively address those aspects of heliophysics science that may affect life and society.


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