NASA Shows 1st Images from Solar Observatory
|This image made from an April 12-13, 2010 video shows an eruptive prominence blasting away from the sun. The prominence appears to stretch almost halfway across the sun, about 500,000 miles. (AP Photo/NASA)|
NASA has unveiled the first images from a new satellite designed to predict disruptive solar storms, and scientists say they’re already learning new things. Researchers showed off brightly colored images and short movie clips of the sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in a webcast on April 21, 2010.
Launched on February 11, 2010, SDO is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun and its dynamic behavior. The spacecraft will provide images with clarity 10 times better than high-definition television and more comprehensive science data faster than any solar observing spacecraft in history. It carries three instrument packages, one built by the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and two built by Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto, CA.
During the Webcast, Dean Pesnell, SDO project chief scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, says it already has disproved at least one theory, but he did not provide details.
Richard Fisher, director of NASA’s heliophysics division, says the satellite is operating flawlessly.
For further information: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press