If you check out the Solar Dynamics Observatory website today to get an update of what the Sun is doing, (which you should -everyday!) you may have noticed a few of the daily images appeared to be “sliding” across the screen. That’s because yesterday the team from the AIA instrument (Atmospheric Imaging Assembly) performed several instrument calibration maneuvers, in which the AIA boresight was moved away from the center of the Sun. When the images are re-centered some of them have lines to the edges of the picture, creating some very nifty solar artwork. Enjoy them now, as this effect will only show up in the “rapid” images shown on their website, and later, they’ll be corrected in the science database. See more below.
SDO takes images of the Sun in several different wavelengths, which highlights different features. On SDO’s Facebook page, the team wrote, “It appears that the re-centering of the images is copying the value at the edge of the field of view rather than zero while the image is being shifted to the center of the picture.”
And even though the images will be fixed, they won’t be able to fix them completely. The information that is missing from images can’t be recovered because the instrument wasn’t pointed at the Sun at the time the image was taken.