IRIS close-up of a solar flare

  • Released Friday, February 21, 2014
View full credits

The Slit-Jaw Imager (SJI) aboard IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) observes a tiny region of the Sun at an image resolution (0.166 arc-seconds per pixel) almost four times higher than the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) (0.6 arc-seconds per pixel). In addition, IRIS has a narrow slit in the imaging plane (the thin, dark vertical line in the center of the inset) which directs some of the light to a spectrograph which allows solar physicists to determine velocity and temperature of the solar plasma.

In this zoom-in from a full-disk view of the Sun from SDO, the imager is observering the Sun at a wavelength of 133nm (1330 angstroms). The imager field-of-view is moved across the solar disk in four steps, allowing the slit to pass over different regions of the Sun to determine the properties of the plasma.

Note: IRIS and SDO are in very different orbits. You can see samples of the orbits at The 2013 Earth-Orbiting Heliophysics Fleet. IRIS is in a near-Earth orbit, while SDO is much higher at geosynchronous orbit. This difference in camera location creates a small parallax between the images composited from these two cameras.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Friday, February 21, 2014.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:51 PM EDT.


This visualization is related to the following missions:

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.