Missions

August 8, 2018
Looping animated gif of Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun.

It’s Surprisingly Hard to Go to the Sun

Why does the Parker Solar Probe have such a long and complex orbit to get close to the Sun? Why doesn’t it just fall right toward it? Turns out it’s a lot harder to approach the Sun than you might
August 1, 2018
Parker Solar Probe

Parker Solar Probe: Humanity’s First Visit to a Star

Parker Solar Probe is a historic mission, flying into the Sun’s atmosphere (or corona) for the first time! It will have 24 orbits around the sun, traveling at a top speed of 430,000 mph—the fastest man-made object ever! It can also withstand temperatures outside the spacecraft that reach nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,377 degrees Celsius)!
August 22, 2017
Image of the Moon transiting across the Sun, using a blend of 171 ångstrom extreme ultraviolet light and visible light imagery from SDO from August 21, 2017. Credit: NASA/SDO

SDO’s View of the August 21 Solar Eclipse

A movie of the Aug 21, 2017 lunar transit as viewed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO.)  Credit: NASA/SDO The Sun appears in visible light, and 171 ångstrom extreme ultraviolet light. The movie shows the Sun moving a bit because
April 21, 2017

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – Year 7

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has now captured nearly seven years worth of ultra-high resolution solar footage. This time-lapse shows that full run from two of SDO’s instruments. CREDIT: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO, Music: “Web of Intrigue” from Killer Tracks. The
April 21, 2016

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – Year 6

This video shows the sun in the 171 angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. It covers a time period of January 2, 2015 to January 28, 2016 at a cadence of one frame every hour, or 24 frames per day. CREDIT: NASA/Goddard
March 2, 2015

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission: Studying magnetic fields around the Earth

By looking close to home, NASA’s newest mission with provide a window to the universe. Countdown to MMS Launch The Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission was created to study how magnetic fields around Earth interact with activity from the sun. The
February 11, 2015
5-years-sdo

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – Year 5

Happy Birthday SDO! 5 years with much more to come! The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) celebrates its 5th anniversary since it launched on February 11, 2010. This time-lapse video captures one frame every 8 hours starting when data became available
April 21, 2014
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/S. Wiessinger

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – Year 4

Massive solar flares, graceful eruptions of solar material, and an enormous sunspot make up some of the imagery captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory during its fourth year in orbit. CREDIT: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO, Music: Stella Maris courtesy of Moby
May 10, 2013

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – Year 3

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center heliophysicist C. Alex Young highlights many interesting aspects of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) images and points out several of the single-frame events that appear in it. This video shows those three years of the sun at a pace of two images per day.
February 28, 2013

Van Allen Probes Discover a 3rd Radiation Belt around Earth

Learn about this new result in a video by NASA Goddard Heliophysics Division. NASA presented these results at a press conference today. Tomorrow I will be on a Google Hangout with several of my colleagues at NASA Goddard. http://bit.ly/YzL5Mz Ask
April 21, 2012
SDO Year 2

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – Year 2

April 21, 2012 marks the two-year anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) First Light press conference, where NASA revealed the first images taken by the spacecraft. This video highlights just some of the amazing events witnessed in SDO’s second
February 6, 2012

Happy 10th RHESSI!

Ten years ago yesterday (5 February 2002) saw the launch of the Reuven Ramaty High-Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager, or RHESSI (pronounced reh-see). RHESSI was designed to study particle acceleration and energy transport during solar flares by observing the highest energy
October 26, 2011

Happy 5th STEREO!

    A spectacular filament eruption from June 7, 2011 captured by the STEREO Ahead spacecraft with EUVI 304, Cor1 and Cor2. Happy Birthday STEREO!! October 26 ,2011 is the 5th anniversary of the launch of the STEREO mission and
April 21, 2011
SDO: Year One

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – Year One

April 21, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) First Light press conference, where NASA revealed the first images taken by the spacecraft. In the last year, the sun has gone from its quietest period in
December 2, 2010

Happy Birthday SOHO!! 15 Years!!

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory or SOHO is by many accounts the granddaddy of modern solar astronomy. SOHO is not the first space based solar observatory but it has truly ushered in a golden age for solar physics. The mission
October 5, 2010
Exceptional Rocket Waves Destroy Sun Dog

The Launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (Part 2)

Thursday morning seemed to take longer to arrive. Expectations were certainly higher, based in no small part on the fact that most of us had flights booked to take us home later that day. Washington DC had just gotten its
October 1, 2010
AV-021 SDO Rollout to Pad

The Launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (Part 1)

Getting out of Washington DC was not going to be easy. The city was bracing itself for the biggest snowstorm in almost a century over the weekend. The launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO; the first mission from NASA’s