Released on November 20, 2012
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 94 Ångstroms (9.4 nanometers) which highlights a spectral line emitted by iron atoms that have lost 17 electrons (also known as iron-18 or Fe XVIII) at temperatures of 6,000,000 K. Temperatures like this represent regions of the corona during a solar flare.
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 instruments. 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 12 second 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.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 184.108.40.206.0