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Tue, Apr 27, 2010

On April 19th, SDO's AIA instrument recorded a powerful solar eruption, with plasma debris called "coronal rain" falling back to the Sun's surface.
Link: NASA Science News

Wed, Apr 21, 2010

First images from SDO were publically released today at a press conference in Washington DC. SDO "first light" images can be viewed on the SDO website and HMI images are available on the HMI Home Page.

Thu, Feb 11, 2010

The Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched aboard the Atlas V into space on its mission to observe the complex mechanisms of the Sun. Liftoff came at 10:23 a.m. EST on February 11th from Launch pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Florida's Atlantic Coast. The SDO spacecraft is in good shape midway through the launch phase, and will reach an elongated orbit reaching more than 21,000 miles high.

Eventually, SDO's orbit will be circularized and will reach about 22,300 miles in what is called geosynchronous orbit (where the time needed for the spacecraft to orbit around the Earth matches the rotation rate of the Earth). This allows for nearly continuous contact with a single ground station. The spacecraft will then point its instruments at the Sun and relay data to the ground station in New Mexico.

Live coverage of the launch is available on NASA TV and NASA's Launch Blog.

Sun, Feb 07, 2010

Worldwide Tweet-up Celebrates the Launch of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

GREENBELT, Md. -- NASA will hold a worldwide series of connected Twitter events during the launch of its newest eye on the Sun, the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Scheduled to launch on February 11 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., SDO will peer into the Sun's atmosphere and probe the Sun's inner workings. It is the first mission of NASA's Living With a Star program, which seeks to reveal how solar activity is generated and to understand the causes of solar variability and its impact on Earth.

"NASA's SDO will provide a powerful new set of eyes, ears and magnetic sensors to better understand how the changing Sun can disrupt our high-tech existence," says Madhulika Guhathakurta, SDO Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Tweet-up events will take place at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's Visitor Center in Greenbelt, Md., 50 classrooms around the world, and 30 other independent sites. There will also be a virtual tweet-up in Second Life, a 3D virtual world where users can socialize and connect with one another.

"This social media event will include individuals, classrooms, and on-site participants in NASA's launch of SDO," says Aleya Van Doren, a formal education coordinator at Goddard. "Through the 'SDO is GO' Twitter events, we will be able to reach out to potentially millions of people and make a personal connection."

"Space is closer than I dreamed of, and it all started with a tweet," says Adam Workman of Greenwood Village, Colo., who was selected to be one of NASA's 15 Twitter correspondents at the tweet-up taking place at the Kennedy Space Center.

"Whenever I see a light in the evening canopy of stars and planets, I am thrilled to know that those are real places, and I'm looking forward to meeting others who share that same sense of thrill," says NASA Twitter correspondent Jonathan Lyons of Tallahassee, Fla.

Companies are even getting in on the event. ThinkGeek, an online company that offers products targeted to technophiles and "geeks" of all varieties, is a participant. "Geeks are, at their heart, explorers, and NASA is a shining example of the amazing work those explorers can do," says ThinkGeek President and General Manager Caroline Offutt. "ThinkGeek is excited to be part of this tweet-up, and we look forward to being inspired by the space program for years to come," she adds.

To follow SDO on Twitter, visit:


For more information about the SDO tweet-up, visit:


Mon, Jan 04, 2010

SDO is GO for Launch! Come to Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to watch the Solar Dynamics Observatory launch into space. Meet scientists and engineers, tour the cleanroom where SDO was built, and connect with common minds. Fifteen lucky Tweeps will be selected to join SDO scientists, engineers and invited guests at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to watch SDO ride a rocket into orbit and begin a new era in Heliophysics, the study of our Sun and its effects on Earth and the solar system.

        Image Credits: NASA/Goddard
        News Source: sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov

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