Latest Solar Dynamics Observatory Stories

The Secret Lives Of Solar Flares
2011-09-20 09:12:45

  [ View the Video ] One hundred and fifty two years ago, a man in England named Richard Carrington discovered solar flares. It happened at 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1st, 1859. Just as usual on every sunny day, the 33-year-old solar astronomer was busy in his private observatory, projecting an image of the sun onto a screen and sketching what he saw. On that particular morning, he traced the outlines of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly,...

solar flare
2011-09-09 06:33:33

  A third and fourth flare have erupted from sunspot 1283. The third came on September 7 at 6:36 PM ET, and was categorized as an X1.8 by the GOES spacecraft, making it the second X-class flare within 24 hours. There was a coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with all three of the recent flares, but none of them are expected to travel directly toward Earth, and the first two were unlikely to cause aurora. NASA computer models suggest that the latest CME may give a glancing...

Solar Dynamics Observatory Observes New Solar Flare Characteristics
2011-09-08 06:06:56

  NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, has provided scientists new information about solar flares indicating an increase in strength and longevity that is more than previously thought. Solar flares are intense bursts of radiation from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. They are the solar system's largest explosive events and are seen as bright areas on the sun. Their energy can reach Earth's atmosphere and affect operations of Earth-orbiting...

2011-09-02 13:40:22

NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 7, to discuss new observations about solar flares that can impact communication and navigation systems. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is providing new data and images for scientists to better understand the sun's dynamic processes, which can affect Earth. The spacecraft launched in February 2010. Teleconference participants are: -- Madhulika Guhathakurta, SDO program scientist, NASA Headquarters...

2011-08-26 07:12:15

  Imagine forecasting a hurricane in Miami weeks before the storm was even a swirl of clouds off the coast of Africa–or predicting a tornado in Kansas from the flutter of a butterfly's wing(1) in Texas. These are the kind of forecasts meteorologists can only dream about. Could the dream come true? A new study by Stanford researchers suggests that such forecasts may one day be possible–not on Earth, but on the sun. "We have learned to detect sunspots before they are...

2011-08-24 12:59:17

NASA has selected Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc. in Columbia, Md., to provide Ground Systems and Mission Operations support. The total maximum ordering value of the cost-plus-award fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite- quantity contract is $450 million. The effective ordering period is from Nov. 1 through Oct. 31, 2016. The work will be performed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Under this contract, Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc. will support a wide range...

2011-06-08 06:00:00

A NASA space observatory witnessed an unusual solar flare on Tuesday that could cause interference to satellites, communications and power on Earth in the next few days, officials warn. Not since 2006 has an eruption of this magnitude been seen reports the National Weather Service. A statement by NASA's solar dynamics observatory says, "The sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare with a substantial coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7 that is visually spectacular." "The large cloud...

2011-04-19 09:12:47

So great is the wealth of data about the Sun now being sent back by space missions such as SOHO, STEREO and the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) that scientists back on Earth can struggle to keep pace. To combat this data overload, scientists from the Visual Computer Centre at Bradford University are developing advanced imaging tools to help scientists visualize what's happening at the Sun, make sense of the data and predict the extreme solar activities that could affect our life here on...

Word of the Day
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.