The Active Sun from SDO: 304 Ångstroms

  • Released Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
  • Updated Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 at 12:03AM
  • ID: 3983

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 304 Ångstroms (30.4 nanometers) which highlights a spectral line emitted by helium atoms that have lost 1 electron (also known as helium-2 or He II) at temperatures of 50,000 K. This light is emitted from the upper transition region and the chromosphere. Solar prominences are readily visible at this wavelength.

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, ⅓ 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.



Credits

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


Missions

This visualization is related to the following missions:

Series

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Datasets used in this visualization

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.