On February 11th, NASA launched the the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a spacecraft designed to study our sun. It’s on a five-year mission gathering data that will aid scientists to better understand how solar activity affects our climate and our lives. The highly advanced SDO is said to take images that are 10 times better than current HD TVs and will be sending back a whopping 1.5 terabytes of data back to Earth each and every each day!
The solar-observing spacecraft has been beaming back early images and videos and they look quite amazing. Have a look for yourself, after the jump.
AIA First Images
This was taken immediately after the AIA CCD cameras cooled. We have no idea what that means, so let’s leave it at, “Ooooh purdy”.
A full view of a filament launch. The Internet tells us that a solar filament is a right loop of material that extends up from the sun’s surface and can stretch to thousands of kilometres.
Filament Launch – Detailed
A close-up view of the filament launch. Fiery stuff.
Yet again the Internet informs us that a solar prominence is like a solar filament viewed from the side. This one seems to be erupting.
“First Light” Release Movies