An artist's conception of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in orbit around Earth.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is a satellite which carries several telescopes and other instruments for observing the Sun. The instruments on SDO produce much more detailed images than similar instruments on earlier orbiting solar observatories. SDO, which was launched on February 11, 2010, 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 interior of the Sun and the Sun's magnetic field. The Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) monitors variation in the Sun's overall ultraviolet radiation output. UV rays from the Sun have a strong impact on Earth's upper atmosphere. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) captures extremely high-resolution images of the Sun at various UV wavelengths.
SDO captures images of the Sun much more frequently than earlier orbiting observatories did. It also takes pictures with much higher resolution. These improvements combine to give scientists a much better picture of the Sun.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
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
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is a satellite which carries several telescopes and other instruments for observing the Sun. The instruments on SDO produce much more detailed images than similar...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 is credited...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 first mission to succeed...more
Apollo 12 survived a lightning strike during its launch on Nov. 14, 1969, and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended to the surface, while Richard Gordon...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. In May 2001, Deep Impact was given the "go" from NASA to start with mission development. Deep Impact...more