This is what an artist thinks NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) looks like in orbit around Earth.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is a satellite which studies the Sun. SDO carries several telescopes and other instruments for observing the Sun. The instruments on SDO take much better pictures than instruments on earlier orbiting solar observatories did. SDO was launched in February 2010. It will study the Sun for 5 years as part of NASA's Living With a Star program.
SDO carries three instruments: HMI, EVE, and AIA. The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) studies the Sun's interior and the Sun's magnetic field. The Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) monitors changes in the total amount of ultraviolet radiation coming from the Sun. UV rays from the Sun have a strong influence on Earth's upper atmosphere. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) take really nice pictures of the Sun at various UV wavelengths.
SDO takes pictures of the Sun much more often than earlier orbiting observatories did. It also takes pictures with much higher resolution. These improvements combine to give scientists a much better look at the Sun.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
The Sun has a very large and very complex magnetic field. The magnetic field at an average place on the Sun is around 1 Gauss, about twice as strong as the average field on the surface of Earth (around...more
Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is a satellite which studies the Sun. SDO carries several telescopes and other instruments for observing the Sun. The instruments on SDO take much better pictures than...more
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was one of the most important exploration tools of the past two decades, and will continue to serve as a great resource well into the new millennium. The HST found numerous...more
Driven by a recent surge in space research, the Apollo program hoped to add to the accomplishments of the Lunar Orbiter and Surveyor missions of the late 1960's. Apollo 11 was the name of the first mission...more
Apollo 12 was launched on Nov. 14, 1969, surviving a lightning strike which temporarily shut down many systems, and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended...more
Apollo 15 marked the start of a new series of missions from the Apollo space program, each capable of exploring more lunar terrain than ever before. Launched on July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 reached the Moon...more
NASA chose Deep Impact to be part of a special series called the Discovery Program on July 7, 1999. The Discovery program specializes in low-cost, scientific projects. In May 2001, Deep Impact was given...more