The Active Sun from SDO: 211 Ångstroms

  • Released Tuesday, November 20, 2012
  • Updated Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 10:33AM
  • ID: 3982

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observes the Sun with many different instruments, in many different wavelengths of light. Many of these capabilities are not possible for ground-based observatories - hence the need for a space-based observing platform.

This movie is generated for a wavelength of 211 Ångstroms (21.1 nanometers) which highlights a spectral line emitted by iron atoms that have lost 13 electrons (also known as iron-14 or Fe XIV) at temperatures of 2,000,000 K. These images show hotter, active regions in the sun's corona.

This visualization is one of a set of visualizations (others linked below) covering the same time span of 17 hours over the full wavelength range of the mission. They are setup to play synchronously on a Hyperwall, or can be run individually.

The images are sampled every 36 seconds, 1/3 of the standard time-cadence for SDO. This visualization is useful for illustrating how different solar phenomena, such as sunspots and active regions, look very different in different wavelengths of light. These differences enable scientists to study them more completely, with an eventual goal of improving Space Weather forecasting.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, the SDO Science Team, and the Virtual Solar Observatory.


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

SDO AIA 211 (A.K.A. 211 Filter) (Collected with the AIA sensor)
JOINT SCIENCE OPERATIONS CENTER 2011-09-25T08:00 - 2011-09-26T01:00

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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