mardi 20 janvier 2015

Telescope on NASA’s SDO Collects Its 100-Millionth Image

NASA - Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) patch.

Jan. 20, 2015

On Jan. 19, 2015, at 12:49 p.m. EST, an instrument on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured its 100 millionth image of the sun. The instrument is the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, or AIA, which uses four telescopes working parallel to gather eight images of the sun – cycling through 10 different wavelengths -- every 12 seconds.

Image above: The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured its 100 millionth image of the sun on Jan. 19, 2015. The dark areas at the bottom and the top of the image are coronal holes -- areas of less dense gas, where solar material has flowed away from the sun. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA/LMSAL.

Between the AIA and two other instruments on board, the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager and the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment, SDO sends down a whopping 1.5 terabytes of data a day. AIA is responsible for about half of that. Every day it provides 57,600 detailed images of the sun that show the dance of how solar material sways and sometimes erupts in the solar atmosphere, the corona.

Image above: Processed image of SDO multiwavelength blend from Jan. 19, 2015, the date of the spacecraft's 100th millionth image release. Image Credits: NASA/SDO.

In the almost five years since its launch on Feb. 11, 2010, SDO has provided images of the sun to help scientists better understand how the roiling corona gets to temperatures some 1000 times hotter than the sun's surface, what causes giant eruptions such as solar flares, and why the sun's magnetic fields are constantly on the move.

Images above: This image shows an early SDO image (2010) and SDO's 100th millionth image (2015). Images Credits: NASA/SDO.

In honor of the 100 millionth image, Dean Pesnell, SDO's project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and Karel Schrijver, the AIA principal investigator at Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto, California, chose some of their favorite images produced by SDO so far.

Related Links:

NASA's SDO website:

How SDO gathers images:

View "100 million images" mosaic:

SDO Images: Scientists' Picks:

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Karen C. Fox.


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