NASA Launches Solar Dynamics Observatory February 11, 2010Posted by jcconwell in satellites, Solar and Space weather.
Tags: SDO, Solar, Solar Dynamics Observatory
NASA has launched the most advanced solar observatory ever built.
An unmanned rocket lifted off Thursday with the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The mission goal is to shed light on Earth’s star. Scientists want to better understand the violent solar activity that influences life on Earth. This space weather can disrupt communications, knock out power and disable satellites.
The Atlas V rocket carrying the Solar Dynamics Observatory lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 10:23 a.m. ET Thursday. NASA had delayed the launch three times Wednesday because of windy conditions.
SDO: The Solar Dynamics Observatory is the first mission to be launched for NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) Program, a program designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. SDO is designed to help us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.
SDO’s goal is to understand, in order to predict, the solar variations that influence life and technological systems (like satellites and power grids)on Earth. Measurements hope to determine:
- how the Sun’s magnetic field is generated and structured
- how this stored magnetic energy is converted and released into the heliosphere and geospace in the form of solar wind, energetic particles, and variations in the solar irradiance.