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NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Delivers Amazing Images

April 27, 2010

A few days ago, we wrote about the 20th anniversary of the Hubble Telescope and its impressive images. Some equally amazing images have been produced by NASA’s recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). This spacecraft has obtained the first high-resolution measurements of solar flares.

This NASA image shows an eruptive prominence blasting away from the sun as observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite.

“These initial images show a dynamic sun that I had never seen in more than 40 years of solar research,” said Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “SDO will change our understanding of the sun and its processes, which affect our lives and society. This mission will have a huge impact on science, similar to the impact of the Hubble Space Telescope on modern astrophysics.”

Launched Feb. 11, 2010, the SDO is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun. During its five-year mission, it will examine the sun’s magnetic field and also provide a better understanding of the role the sun plays in Earth’s atmospheric chemistry and climate.

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