SDO, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory left for work on February 11, 2010. Seven years later and counting, SDO faithfully watches the Sun in different wavelengths. Different wavelengths reveal temperature variances in vivid colour, mesmerizing real time images unlocking mysteries of our sun.
Follow this link to live SDO solar images – https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/the-sun-now/index.html Better still – lose yourself in this stunning timelapse woven from five unblinking years of SDO surveillance.
Each of us has our “thing”, mine happens to be cosmic. Hair on the back of my neck stands at attention when I stumble upon an outstanding interpretation or presentation of the cosmos. Cosmic diversion doesn’t have to be your thing, but if you feel inclined – take a moment to ponder my thing.
Linked below, USTREAM – a live feed from the International Space Station.
SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) a joint European Space Agency and NASA project dedicated to all things space weather. A one stop wealth of information covering real time images of the sun to intricacies of space weather – a great place to learn.
Heavens Above – rather than waste time with enthusiastic babble – take a moment to explore it yourself. –
SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) changed how we ponder our Sun. Launched on February 11, 2010, SDO became NASA’s first solar observatory. No larger than a minivan, purposeful and dedicated, SDO’s singular objective is to understand how solar activity impacts Earth. Instruments measure the Sun’s interior, magnetic field and plasma of the solar corona simultaneously – one mission, to understand space weather in relation to Earth and near-Earth space.
Space weather refers to the effects of solar wind on Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere. Conditions attributed to constant flows, punctuated by violent eruptions of solar plasma – charged particles, flung outwards from the Sun at speeds up to 1 million mph. Auroras, mesmerizing spectacles driven by clashes with solar plasma appear innocent enough – space weather has far greater ramifications.
Solar wind driven plasma is responsible for bending or obliterating radio waves, disrupting navigation systems, forcing airplanes to change course, decayed orbits of satellites, temporarily knocking out cell phone service and complete failure of power grids.During an intense geomagnetic storm in October of 2003, 46 0f 70 spacecraft failures were attributed to space weather. In March 1989, 3 minutes after impact of a severe solar storm, Quebec’s power grid was annihilated for 9 hours.
Over the next few weeks I’ll dissect space weather into digestible bites. Meanwhile, take a moment to witness one of SDO’s greatest gifts –
On February 11, 2015, NOAA and NASA successfully launched DSCOVR ( Deep Space Climate Observatory) – a watchdog, intended to replace ACE (launched in 1997) as a early warning system monitoring solar activity and incoming storms. In addition to incoming trouble, DSCOVR will keep one eye Earthbound – EPIC ( Enhanced Polychromatic Imaging Camera) looks back at Earth, with 10 filters able to image ozone and aerosols, cloud height, vegetation properties, and ultraviolet reflectivity.
DSCOVR isn’t this week’s only NASA stunner. On February 13, they released a video marking 5 years of SDO, the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Watch, wonder and smile.