Stunning Compilation of the Solar Dynamic Observatory’s Observations

by Nancy Atkinson on February 11, 2013

Three years ago today, (February 11, 2010) I was standing at Kennedy Space Center watching the launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The launch was spectacular, and included a unique effect as the Atlas rocket flew close to a sundog just as the spacecraft reached Max-Q, creating a ripple effect around the spacecraft. And so, SDO started off with a bang and she’s been producing incredible data ever since. The folks at Goddard Spaceflight Center’s Scientific Visualiation Studio have put together a highlight reel for the third year of SDO operations. You’ll see morphing sunspots, fountains of solar plasma, sun-grazing comets and more. Throughout its mission, SDO has not only studied the Sun, but also opened up several new, unexpected doors to scientific inquiry. Enjoy this “greatest hits” video of SDO’s third year.

Magnificent eruption from the Sun, shown in 304 and 171 Angstrom wavelength light,  on August 31, 2012. Credit: NASA

Magnificent eruption from the Sun, shown in 304 and 171 Angstrom wavelength light, on August 31, 2012. Credit: NASA

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Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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