NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), launched in February, has started to send back data. The instruments are giving solar scientists an unprecedented look at the sun, says Dean Pesnell, SDO project scientist. The hope is to better understand how solar activity–solar flares, coronal mass ejections, coronal holes–is linked to the sun’s magnetic field. (Credits: video, images courtesy of: SDO (NASA) and the AIA, EVE and NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, music by SYNTHAR)
The sun has been in a relatively quiet period in recent years — but astronomers say that quiet period is nearing an end. Solar activity tends to go in 11-year cycles. 2008 and 2009 saw unusually calm times on the sun, with little in the way of sunspots. The year 2013 should bring a peak of the solar cycle, with the potential for solar storms that could disrupt electronics here on Earth. We’ll talk about solar weather and the upcoming solar storm season.â€¨â€¨Plus, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory launched earlier this year, and is sending back amazing images and video of activity on the sun. We’ll take a look.
Lego Solar Dynamics Observatory kit!