Seven years of Solar Dynamics

It seems like only yesterday that I was noting First Light on Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO], and the early hours of this morning for ‘three years in three minutes‘ and ‘SDO Year 4‘.  In fact the SDO was launched on 11 Feb 2010, with First Light in April of that year. [Seven long years… – Ed]  Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre have produced a short [3 min 22 sec] video marking the solar sunspot cycle during that time. [Credit: NASA’s …

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Mercury in motion

If you missed yesterday’s rare Mercury transit across the Sun – the last was in 2006, the next in 2019 – then where were you! [Busy… – Ed]  But even if you were paying attention you’re unlikely to have had as wondrous a view as that of Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. They’ve helpfully released a stunning time-lapse video compressing the entire 7 hour spectacle into a digestible couple of minutes.  I recommend switching to full screen mode and cranking up the volume.  Enjoy!  [Video …

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Solar Dynamics Observatory: Year 4

Four years after its work began, and following last year’s three years in three minutes, Nasa have released another wondrous short video of a year of selected solar activity as viewed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Video via Nasa Goddard.  Full-screen viewing recommended.  Stunning. [Credit: NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory. Music: Stella Maris courtesy of Moby Gratis] The sun is always changing and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory is always watching. Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, SDO keeps a 24-hour eye on the entire disk …

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Three Years of SDO Data – Narrated

If you enjoyed the recent video from Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – “Three years in three minutes” – but would have liked more of an explanation of what was going on with our own local star… here it is again!  This time, though, extended, and narrated by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center heliophysicist Alex Young. [Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center] Pete Baker

Solar Dynamics Observatory: Three years in three minutes

What it says on the tin.  Three years after First Light, Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has released three stunning minutes of images compiled during its virtually unbroken coverage of the sun’s rise toward solar maximum.  Enjoy!  [Video from NasaExplorer on YouTube. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO] As they note in the associated text During the course of the video, the sun subtly increases and decreases in apparent size. This is because the distance between the SDO spacecraft and the …

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Transit of Venus 2012: The Movie

Were your skies not favourable for viewing?  Did you miss the live online coverage of the last transit of Venus until 2117?  Well, there’s a Flickr group.  Or you could take in the stunning views from Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.  Video from NasaExplorer.  [Credit: Data courtesy of NASA/SDO, HMI, and AIA science teams].  Enjoy! On June 5 2012, SDO collected images of the rarest predictable solar event–the transit of Venus across the face of the sun.  This event happens in …

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SDO: Year 2, approaching solar maximum…

Here’s a short video compilation of some stunning views of the Sun in 2012 – as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). And Science at Nasa has a, erm, cheerful message as we approach solar maximum – “Enjoy the show!”  [Once more, with feeling… – Ed]  Indeed. Pete Baker

“It’ll be back in about 600 years…”

In this short video ScienceAtNasa takes an informative look at the surprisingly robust sun-grazing Comet Lovejoy. And here’s the stunning video from the crew of the International Space Station again. [Video courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center] Pete Baker

Comet Lovejoy is still with us!

Rumours of the demise of Kreutz sungrazing Comet Lovejoy may have been greatly exaggarated.  NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught Comet Lovejoy emerging from its scorching close encounter with the sun.  [Video Credit: NASA SDO] As the Science at Nasa press release notes Comet Lovejoy was discovered on Dec. 2, 2011, by amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy of Australia.  Researchers quickly realized that the new find was a member of the Kreutz family of sungrazing comets.  Named after the German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, …

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Spectacular Solar Eruption Close-up

Nasa have released more stunning footage from the Solar Dynamics Observatory of the spectacular solar eruption on June 7.  As LittleSDOHMI notes – “This video uses the full-resolution 4096 x 4096 pixel images at a one minute time cadence to provide the highest quality, finest detail version possible.”  With music! Pete Baker

Spectacular Solar Eruption

Wondrous images from Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory of the spectacular eruption that accompanied an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare on June 7.  [Image/video credit: NASA SDO] And, via the Professor, Geeked on Goddard provides further video courtesy Helioviewer.org and a narration by The Sun Today. As LittleSDOHMI notes This Earth-directed CME [Coronal Mass Ejection] is moving at 1400 km/s according to NASA models. Due to its angle, however, effects on Earth should be fairly small. Nevertheless, it may generate space weather effects …

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Solar Dynamics Observatory One Year On

One year on from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) First Light and Nasa have released a compilation of wondrous clips of its observations of our local star. [Video credit: Nasa SDO] They have selected 12 of the most beautiful, interesting, and mesmerizing events seen by SDO during its first year. In the order they appear in the video the events are: 1. Prominence Eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on March 30, 2010 2. Cusp Flow from AIA in 171 Angstroms on …

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Look to the north!

The BBC points to the possibility, given clear skies, of further displays of the Aurora Borealis being visible from Northern Ireland following a series of large solar flares – including a level X2.2 flare on the 15th, the most powerful since 2006.  But, as the Professor and a separate BBC report notes, there are some practical concerns. The China Meteorological Administration reported that the solar flare caused “sudden ionospheric disturbances” in the atmosphere above China and jammed short-wave radio communications in the …

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The spicules of Sol

Another wondrous view of our own modest star from the Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO].  Here’s what the SDO channel says Spicules pop up from the Sun constantly. These dynamics jets are smaller features of the Sun that are commonly ignored. However, with the detailed close-up that SDO can provide, we can see these much more clearly than ever before. Over a few hours observation of the northern pole area of the Sun in extreme ultraviolet light (Aug. 3, 2010), we can …

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Solar Dynamics Observatory: Interacting regions

More stunning footage from the Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO]. From the SDO video summary Two pairs of active regions observed in extreme ultraviolet light show the dynamic magnetic interplay between them (Aug. 3-4, 2010). Energetic plasma is drawn to the magnetic field lines above active regions and forms the highly structured coronal loops. Connecting lines can also be seen reaching across between for the two widely separated active regions seen in profile to the left. Pete Baker

It’s Science Friday!

Here’s a short interesting video, with stunning images, on the solar weather under investigation with the help of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Pete Baker

More telescopes…

As the BBC notes, for the first time astronomers have directly observed the orbit of an exo-planet – Beta Pictoris b, a gas giant about nine times the mass of Jupiter, some 60 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Pictar.  The team used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. [Image credit: ESO] Only 12 million years old, or less than three-thousandths of the age of the Sun, Beta Pictoris is 75% more massive than our parent …

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Atlantis and ISS in solar transit

Via Space Weather. “Yesterday (May 22nd) in Switzerland, Thierry Legault photographed the International Space Station (ISS) and space shuttle Atlantis passing directly in front of the sun.” He’s making a habit of this. The small image here doesn’t do justice to the astounding images he’s taken during the 0.49 second solar transit.  You have to go to his website to see those in full. Equally astounding are the images of a transit 50 minutes before Atlantis docked with the ISS.  …

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