Mission Information

MEDIA ADVISORY : M10-008 - Briefing Materials
01.21.10
 
Solar Dynamics Observatory - Pre-Launch Briefing Materials
Read Advisory M10-008




Presenter: Richard Fisher
Heliophysics Division Director, NASA Headquarters in Washington

 
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Presenter: Madhulika Guhathakurta
SDO Program Scientist, NASA Headquarters

   
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  A burst of fast material from the Sun generates magnetic reconnection events in the Earth's magnetic field. This eventually sends high-speed electrons and protons into the Earth's upper atmosphere to form aurora. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab
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Presenter: Dean Pesnell
SDO Project Scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.


  The SDO spacecraft with instruments labeled. SDO contains a suite of instruments that will provide observations leading to a more complete understanding of the solar dynamics that drive variability in the Earth's environment.
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  HMI will send back data that we can use to build ultrasounds of the Sun. Using the sound waves rippling across the surface of the Sun we can look at small changes in the rotation of the Sun. One bright band moves toward the equator. In this past solar cycle we noticed that active regions appeared only in and above that band. We will use HMI to make better predictions of solar activity.
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  We also use HMI to measure the surface magnetic field. Unlike this image, which shows only the strength of the magnetic field, HMI will also measure the direction of the field. Scientists feel that knowing the direction of the field will help to make better predictions of when flares and coronal mass ejections will occur.
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  Once the field is out of the surface we see the field illuminated by hot gas that is forced to flow along the field lines. On the left we see an image from SOHO showing gas at 1.5 million K. On the right we see the many temperatures of the different gases in different colors. AIA will determine the temperature more accurately; allowing us to know how much material is glowing and produce better predictions of flares and coronal mass ejections.
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  This visualization compares the temporal and spatial resolution of SOHO/EIT with TRACE. SDO will enable TRACE-like image and temporal resolution over the entire solar disk. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
AIA will record images of the EUV Sun at a pace never before achieved. This will allow us to zoom in on small regions and see far more detail in time and space with the high-res, version. AIA is designed to return high-res. versions of the entire disk, allowing us to zoom in on any part we want.
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  The third instrument, EVE, measures the Heartbeat of Space Weather, the extreme ultraviolet emissions of the Sun. The SEE instrument on TIMED has measured them since 2002, but only ever y 90 minutes. The EVE instrument will measure them more quickly, at a pace that matches what we need for these important emissions.
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  Our data will available through our website at sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov
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Presenter: Elizabeth Citrin
SDO Project Manager, Goddard

  The truck carrying the SDO satellite arrived during a summertime thunderstorm's downpour. Credit: NASA
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  At Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., the shipping container cover is lifted from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO. SDO is the first space weather research network mission in NASA's Living With a Star Program. Photo credit: NASA/Tim Jacobs 07.10.2009
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  At the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla., an engineer monitors the movement, or gimbaling, of the high-gain antenna on the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller 08.11.2009
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  At the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla., the high-gain communications antenna on the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is moved into a stowed position following testing to verify the spacecraft's readiness for launch. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller 11.19.2009
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  At the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla., Boeing spacecraft fueling technicians from Kennedy Space Center take a sample of the monomethylhydrazine propellant that will be loaded aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, which is protectively covered. The hydrazine fuel is being sampled for purity before it is loaded aboard the spacecraft. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller 01.07.2010
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  At Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the Centaur upper stage for the Atlas V rocket scheduled to launch NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is lifted above the first stage of the rocket in the Vertical Integration Facility. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller 01.26.2010
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  This animation follows the Solar Dynamics Observatory from its launch at pad 41A from Kennedy Space Center through deployment. Credit: Walt Feimer NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab
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