SDO Provides Constant, Unprecedented Views of Sun

This photograph of the Sun, taken by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory reveals the faint, inner corona. At the Sun’s limb, prominences larger than the Earth arc into space. Bright active regions like the one on the Sun’s face at lower center are often the source of huge eruptions known as coronal mass ejections. Credit: NASA/LMSAL/SAO

Usually the only time we can see the innermost part of the Sun’s corona is when there is a total eclipse. But now, with the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and a new image processing program, scientists are getting unprecedented views of the innermost corona 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“The AIA solar images, with better-than-HD quality views, show magnetic structures and dynamics that we’ve never seen before on the Sun,” said astronomer Steven Cranmer from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “This is a whole new area of study that’s just beginning.” (…) Read the rest of SDO Provides Constant, Unprecedented Views of Sun’s Inner Corona (399 words)

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