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IRIS - Briefing Materials
July 25, 2013

Multimedia Files in Support of the IRIS First Light Briefing

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On July 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm PDT (2:14 pm EDT) the IRIS Lockheed Martin instrument team successfully opened the door on NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, which launched June 27, 2013, aboard a Pegasus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

As the telescope door opened, IRIS's single instrument began to observe the sun for the first time. Designed to research the interface region in more detail than has ever been done before, IRIS's instrument is a combination of an ultraviolet telescope and a spectrograph. The telescope provides high-resolution images, capturing data on about 1 percent of the sun at a time. The images can resolve very fine features, as small as 150 miles across.

While the telescope can look at only one wavelength of light at a time, the spectrograph collects information about many wavelengths of light at once. The instrument then splits the sun's light into its various wavelengths and measures how much of any given wavelength is present. Analysis of the spectral lines can also provide velocity, temperature and density information, key information when trying to track how energy and heat moves through the region.

Related Links

          › Link to Briefing Audio
          › Link to Media Advisory/Telecon Link
          › Link to Press Release
          › Link to High Resolution Media
          › Link to Feature Story
          › Link to IRIS L-22 Briefing Materials
          › Link to IRIS L-1 Mission and Science Briefing Video

Speakers/Presenters

  • John Grunsfeld, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • Alan R. Weston, Director, Programs and Projects, NASA's Ames Research Center
  • Gary Kushner, IRIS project manager, Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Alan Title, IRIS principal investigator, Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Bart DePontieu, IRIS research scientist, Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, Calif.



Visual: 1

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This is a photo of the complete IRIS observatory with the solar arrays deployed. This photo was taken in a large clean tent at LM prior to vibration testing and prior to installation of the flight MLI blankets. The front door, the aluminum disk to the far left end of the telescope tube, is now open and the observatory carrying out its solar observing mission. Credit: Lockheed Martin
 

Visual: 2

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Visual: 3

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Visual: 4

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This is the IRIS mission timeline from launch including separation from the third stage, deployment of the solar arrays and the transition from detumble mode to coarse sun pointing mode. Credit: NASA Ames Research Center/IRIS
 

Visual: 5

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This timeline shows the IRIS mission timeline for the nominal two year mission including the transition from engineering checkout, science calibrations, to fully operational science observing. Credit: NASA Ames Research Center/IRIS

 

Visual: 6

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Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) full disk image on left and full resolution close-up of a solar active region (right). Both were generated using SDO's AIA instrument in 1700 wavelength. Credit: NASA/SDO/LMSAL/AIA/IRIS

 

Visual: 7

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On Left: The Solar Dynamics Observatory's full resolution close-up of a solar active region in 1700 wavelength.
On Right: The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) full resolution view of the same solar active region. There are 12.7 IRIS pixels for every SDO/AIA pixel. The smallest structures in the IRIS image are about 240 km wide on the Sun. Credit: NASA/SDO/LMSAL/AIA/IRIS

 

Visual: 8

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Visual: 9

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IRIS Near Ultraviolet Spectrum containing the Mg II h and Mg II k spectral lines formed by single ionized Magnesium atoms in the solar chromosphere (bright vertical features), the region between the solar surface and the sun's outer atmosphere. The horizontal axis shows wavelength, with the vertical axis showing the spatial direction. The vertical black lines are spectral lines formed on the Sun's surface. These spectra are used to determine velocities and temperatures of the emitting gas for a range of heights from the surface of the Sun to several thousand kilometer above the Sun's surface. The horizontal yellow line shows the cut that is used to create the movie in the following image. Credit: Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Laboratory

 

Visual: 10

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Visual: 11

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Visual: 12

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This image compares the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) full resolution at 1600 Angstroms (on left) to the IRIS' Si IV full resolution (on right). Credit: NASA/SDO/LMSAL/AIA/IRIS

 

Visual: 13

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Still image from the first IRIS movie, 21 hours after opening the door. Credit: NASA/IRIS

 

Visual: 14

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All above media is available in high resolution at http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11314

 

Youtube Override: 
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This video compares the Solar Dynamics Observatory's (SDO) resolution with the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) resolution for the same region of the sun.
Image Credit: 
NASA
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Youtube Override: 
2ZAtR-j2pSQ
This animation shows the launch and deployment in space of the IRIS observatory. IRIS was launched on June 27, 2013 at 7:27pm PDT and achieved orbit at 7:46pm. The third stage of the Pegasus rocket placed the observatory in a nearly perfect 620km x 660km orbit allowing for 8 months of eclipse free viewing for at least 6 years.
Image Credit: 
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Conceptural Image Lab
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[image-37]
Youtube Override: 
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This animation shows the opening of the telescope aperture door. The door was opened on July 17, 2013 on the 20th day of the mission. The primary reason for delaying the door opening was to allow sufficient time for any additional outgassing that occurs in the higher vacuum of space. This also allows for the checkout of the spacecraft and instrument systems that could be performed with the door closed.
Image Credit: 
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Conceptural Image Lab
Image Token: 
[image-38]
Youtube Override: 
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This is the first movie made with IRIS data. Most frames are separated by 24 seconds. This data was taken in an early calibration run and was not intended for science studies. The movie started only 21 hours after opening the front door. Images will improve in quality when the corrections for gain and dark current of the detector are calibrated and applied. Further cosmetic improvements will occur after we learn to properly scale the images. The IRIS images have a dynamic range that is much higher than normally seen in AIA mages. NOTE: This video has been slowed forty percent and looped four times to show greater detail.
Image Credit: 
NASA/GSFC/LMSAL/IRIS
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Youtube Override: 
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A line plot of the spectrum is shown for the points along the yellow line in Visual 9. The spectra here are shown for various locations on the Sun. The changes in the movie are caused by differing physical conditions in the locations.
Image Credit: 
Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Laboratory
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Youtube Override: 
imgJVVCEBOM
This video is similar to the Visual 10 above, but now as derived from a numerical simulation of the Sun by the University of Oslo.
Image Credit: 
Dr. Tiago Pereira, University of Oslo
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A graphic depicting the IRIS satellite in space.
A graphic depicting the IRIS satellite in space.
Image Credit: 
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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Still image from the first IRIS movie, 21 hours after opening the door.
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Comparison of resolution between SDO (left) and IRIS (right).
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A completed IRIS satellite in the clean room.
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SDO full disk image on left and full scale close-up of a solar active region (right).
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Comparing the resolution of SDO on left to IRIS on right.
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IRIS Launch Day Timeline
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IRIS mission timeline from launch to two years.
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IRIS Near Ultraviolet Spectrum formed by single ionized Magnesium atoms in the solar chromosphere (bright vertical features), the region between the solar surface and the sun's outer atmosphere.
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Page Last Updated: April 22nd, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell