Why Does NASA Observe The Sun in Different Colors?

  • Released Friday, June 18, 2021
  • Updated Monday, July 12, 2021 at 1:15PM
  • ID: 13859

Music credits: “Swirling Blizzard” and “Endless Swirl” by Laurent Dury [SACEM] from Universal Production Music

Watch this video on the NASA Goddard YouTube channel.

Complete transcript available.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, spacecraft was launched on Feb. 11, 2010, and began collecting science data a few months later. With two imaging instruments – the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager, which were designed in concert to provide complementary views of the Sun – SDO sees the Sun in more than 10 distinct wavelengths of light, showing solar material at different temperatures. SDO also measures the Sun’s magnetic field and the motion of solar material at its surface, and, using a technique called helioseismology, allows scientists to probe deep into the Sun's interior, where the Sun’s complex magnetic fields sprout from. And with more than a decade of observation under its belt, SDO has provided scientists with hundreds of millions of images of our star.


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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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