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02:21
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NASA | SDO Year One

April 21, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) First Light press conference, where NASA revealed the first images taken by the spacecraft. In the last year, the sun has gone from its quietest period in years to the activity marking the beginning of solar cycle 24. SDO has captured every moment with a level of detail never-before possible. The mission has returned unprecedented images of solar flares, eruptions of prominences, and the early stages of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). In this video are some of the most beautiful, interesting, and mesmerizing events seen by SDO during its first year. In the order they appear in the video the events are: 1. Prominence Eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on March 30, 2010 2. Cusp Flow from AIA in 171 Angstroms on February 14, 2011 3. Prominence Eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on February 25, 2011 4. Cusp Flow from AIA in 304 Angstroms on February 14, 2011 5. Merging Sunspots from HMI in Continuum on October 24-28, 2010 6. Prominence Eruption and active region from AIA in 304 Angstroms on April 30, 2010 7. Solar activity and plasma loops from AIA in 171 Angstroms on March 4-8, 2011 8. Flowing plasma from AIA in 304 Angstroms on April 19, 2010 9. Active regions from HMI in Magnetogram on March 10, 2011 10. Filament eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on December 6, 2010 11. CME start from AIA in 211 Angstroms on March 8, 2011 12. X2 flare from AIA in 304 Angstroms on February 15, 2011 Be sure to vote on your favorite SDO clip here: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/multimedia/VC-1st-light.html Voting goes from April 21 until May 5. This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10748 Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/iTunes/f0004_index.html Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NASA.GSFC Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NASAGoddard

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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NASA SDO - X5.4-class Solar Flare, March 7, 2012

Right at midnight UT time the active region 1429 unleashed a powerful X5.4-class solar flare. X-class flares are the strongest of the flares. They are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. It appears that right after the large X5.4 flare another slightly lower, X1 flare (5 times smaller) occurred. You can clearly see a wave going across the Sun. We are still gathering data and the Space Weather Forecast Lab will be having updates available soon. Credit: NASA SDO

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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NASA SDO - Spectacular Prominence Eruption, June 7, 2011

The Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare with a substantial coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7 that is visually spectacular. The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area of almost half the solar surface. SDO observed the flare's peak at 1:41 AM EST. SDO recorded these images in extreme ultraviolet light and they show a very large explosion of cool gas. It is somewhat unique because at many places in the eruption there seems to be even cooler material -- at temperatures less than 80,000K. When viewed in SOHO's coronagraphs, the event shows bright plasma and high-energy particles roaring from the Sun. This Earth-directed CME is moving at 1400 km/s according to NASA models. Due to its angle, however, effects on Earth should be fairly small. Nevertheless, it may generate space weather effects here on Earth in a few days. Credit: NASA SDO

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04:03
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NASA Science - The Surprising Power of a Solar Storm

A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles. NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth's upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years. "This was the biggest dose of heat we've received from a solar storm since 2005," says Martin Mlynczak of NASA Langley Research Center. "It was a big event, and shows how solar activity can directly affect our planet." Mlynczak is the associate principal investigator for the SABER instrument onboard NASA's TIMED satellite. SABER monitors infrared emissions from Earth's upper atmosphere, in particular from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances that play a key role in the energy balance of air hundreds of km above our planet's surface. "Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats," explains James Russell of Hampton University, SABER's principal investigator. "When the upper atmosphere (or 'thermosphere') heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space." That's what happened on March 8th when a coronal mass ejection (CME) propelled in our direction by an X5-class solar flare hit Earth's magnetic field. (On the "Richter Scale of Solar Flares," X-class flares are the most powerful kind.) Energetic particles rained down on the upper atmosphere, depositing their energy where they hit. The action produced spectacular auroras around the poles and significant1 upper atmospheric heating all around the globe. "The thermosphere lit up like a Christmas tree," says Russell. "It began to glow intensely at infrared wavelengths as the thermostat effect kicked in." For the three day period, March 8th through 10th, the thermosphere absorbed 26 billion kWh of energy. Infrared radiation from CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total back into space. In human terms, this is a lot of energy. According to the New York City mayor's office, an average NY household consumes just under 4700 kWh annually. This means the geomagnetic storm dumped enough energy into the atmosphere to power every home in the Big Apple for two years. "Unfortunately, there's no practical way to harness this kind of energy," says Mlynczak. "It's so diffuse and out of reach high above Earth's surface. Plus, the majority of it has been sent back into space by the action of CO2 and NO." During the heating impulse, the thermosphere puffed up like a marshmallow held over a campfire, temporarily increasing the drag on low-orbiting satellites. This is both good and bad. On the one hand, extra drag helps clear space junk out of Earth orbit. On the other hand, it decreases the lifetime of useful satellites by bringing them closer to the day of re-entry. The storm is over now, but Russell and Mlynczak expect more to come. "We're just emerging from a deep solar minimum," says Russell. "The solar cycle is gaining strength with a maximum expected in 2013." More sunspots flinging more CMEs toward Earth adds up to more opportunities for SABER to study the heating effect of solar storms. "This is a new frontier in the sun-Earth connection," says Mlynczak, and the data we're collecting are unprecedented." Credit: NASA Science

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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00:39
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NASA/ESA SOHO & NASA SDO Comet Meets Sun, October 1, 2011

A comet discovered on Friday September 30, 2011 by an amateur astronomer disintegrated on Saturday October 1, 2011 when it plunged into the Sun. The Corongraph of NASA/ESA's SOHO captured the last few hours of the comet. Very shortly after the comet dove into the Sun a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) exploded. As of current solar scientists do not believe that a comet can trigger a Coronal Mass Ejection - however, the question of if a comet could cause a magnetic instability on the Sun remains and is being studied. On July 6, 2011 the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed a sungrazing comet and it appeared to interact with the plasma and magnetic field as it fell apart. The first two segments in this video are from October 1, 2011 and were observed by NASA/ESA's SOHO spacecraft. The last two segments were captured by NASA's SDO on July 5, 2011. Credit: NASA/ESA SOHO and NASA SDO

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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Solar Tornado filmed by Nasa's SDO satellite

A rare 'solar tornado', possibly the size of Earth with 300,000mph winds, has been caught on camera by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Report by Sam Datta-Paulin. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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NASA SDO - M2.6 Solar Flare on January 19, 2012

Today's M2.6-class Solar Flare produced a nice Coronal Mass Ejection, which appears to be Earth directed. Current forecasts have it to arrive on January 21, 2012 at approx. 22:30 UT (let's give or take 7 hours... it's over 90 million mile journey after all). Our friends at the NASA Goddard Space Weather Lab are predicting possible strong geomagnetic storms. What will it mean for us? Possibly some Aurorea and perhaps some communications interruption. No major issues are expected. A view of the Active Regions 1401 and 1402 over the past couple of days shows the development of those beautiful sunspots. Then two views of the solar flare through the SDO instrument before concluding with views from STEREO Ahead and Behind. Credit: NASA SDO & NASA STEREO

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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NASA SDO - Prominence & Flare, March 23, 2012

Within a very short time a beautiful prominence erupted on the upper western limb and a M1-class solar flare happened on the lower eastern limb. Enjoy this beautiful view through various wavelengths of the AIA instrument on board NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Credit: NASA SDO

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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NASA SDO - Lovejoy's Journey around the Sun

Comet Lovejoy traveled behind the Sun and reemerged as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Credit: NASA SDO

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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01:20
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NASA | Massive Solar Flare gets HD Close Up

Take a closer look at the flare that erupted on March 6, 2012. This movie of the March 6, 2012 X5.4 flare was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in the 171 and 131 Angstrom wavelength. One of the most dramatic features is the way the entire surface of the sun seems to ripple with the force of the eruption. This movement comes from something called EIT waves -- because they were first discovered with the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) on the Solar Heliospheric Observatory. Since SDO captures images every 12 seconds, it has been able to map the full evolution of these waves and confirm that they can travel across the full breadth of the sun. The waves move at over a million miles per hour, zipping from one side of the sun to the other in about an hour. The movie shows two distinct waves. The first seems to spread in all directions; the second is narrower, moving toward the southeast. Such waves are associated with, and perhaps trigger, fast coronal mass ejections, so it is likely that each one is connected to one of the two CMEs that erupted on March 6. Caption: NASA/SDO Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/iTunes/f0004_index.html Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NASA.GSFC Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NASAGoddard

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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00:56
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NASA SDO - X-class Solar Flares & Solar Tsunami, March 7, 2012

On March 7, 2012 just a few minutes after midnight UT time the active region (AR11429) unleashed two strong X-class flare. The first, X5.4-class, showed a very bright flare, the second right after, X1-class, hurled a second coronal mass ejection into Space. Also seen can be a wave going across the Sun at approx. 1,000,000 mph - also known as a Solar Tsunami. Here are various views of this events over a couple of hours, including some close-up views of the Sunspot 1429. Credit: NASA SDO & Dr. A. Kosovichev, HMI

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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00:42
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NASA SDO - M8.7-Class Solar Flare from January 23, 2012

The Chinese New Year certainly started with a bang this morning. At approx. 04:00 UT a strong and long duration M8.7-class solar flare exploded from Active Region 1402. NASA SDO captured this event and thanks to ESA/NASA SOHO and NASA STEREO Behind spacecrafts, we have also learned of a very quick moving Coronal Mass Ejection. The CME is traveling at approx. 2,200 km per second and the Goddard Space Weather Lab predicts the arrival of this CME on earth to be January 24, 2012 at approx. 14:18 UT (+/- 7 hours). It also shows that Mars will get hit too, several hours after Earth. These kinds of events can cause problems for spacecrafts in geosynchronous, polar and other orbits passing could be affected by the cloud's arrival. In addition, strong geomagnetic storms are possible, so high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for Aurorae. Credit: NASA SDO

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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00:48
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NASA SDO - Returning Sunspot (AR1429)

The active region (AR 1429), the source of many strong flares and geomagnetic storms in the beginning of March 2012, has completed its journey around the Sun and is peaking over the Eastern limb of the Sun. But it is not nearly the behemoth it was four weeks ago. The view through the HMI telescope shows the movement and development of this sunspot in early March and shows how this region is returning the end of March. The AIA 171 angstrom view shows the coronal loops, arcs extending off the Sun where plasma moves along magnetic field lines. This video also includes a view of early and late March 2012 activities. As the saying goes - "A trip around the Sun can make you decay...".

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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00:22
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NASA SDO - Earth Eclipse, March 13, 2012

Twice a year NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory sees our own Earth move in between its telescopes and the Sun and for about three weeks the Earth passes between SDO and the Sun at about midnight Boulder time. The length of the occultation will vary from short to almost 80 minutes. Today's eclipse started at at 06:21 UT time and lasted for 1 hour and 19 minutes. Here is a view of Earth's move between SDO and the Sun in a variety of wavelengths. un in a variety of wavelengths. Credit: NASA SDO

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00:25
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NASA SDO - M9-class Solar Flare, July 30, 2011

In the early hours of July 30, 2011 a fairly strong, but brief, M9-class solar flare occurred on Active Region 1261. Because it was brief it appears not to have hurled a large coronal mass ejection (CME) outwards. Additional analysis are underway. Credit: NASA SDO

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00:18
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NASA SDO - Plasma Indirection

As if it could not make up its mind . . . darker, cooler plasma slid and shifted back and forth above the Sun's surface seen here for 30 hours (Feb. 7-8, 2012) in extreme ultraviolet light. An active region rotating into view provides a bright backdrop to the gyrating streams of plasma. The particles are being pulled this way and that by competing magnetic forces. They are tracking along strands of magnetic field lines. This kind of detailed solar observation with high-resolution frames and a four-minute cadence was not possible until SDO, which launched two years ago on Feb. 11, 2010. So it's our 2nd Anniversary! Credit: NASA SDO

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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00:48
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NASA SDO - 3D Sun (HD Version - 3D Glasses Needed)

NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) - designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. SDO is helping us understanding the Sun's influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously. SDO's goal is to understand, driving towards a predictive capability, the solar variations that influence life on Earth and humanity's technological systems by determining. Put on your 3D glasses and enjoy our active Sun in white light fading into EUV and back and froth a couple of times. Credit: NASA SDO

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00:27
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NASA SDO - Lovely Loops

The Lovely Loops A close-up view of the Sun's edge shows vast loop structures made of superheated plasma, just one of which is the size of several Earths. These loops can have a wide range of temperatures, many reaching several million degrees Kelvin. The upper one of a pair of new, solar active regions that just rotated into view offered a beautiful profile view of those cascading loops spiraling above it (Jan. 15-16, 2012) following a solar flare eruption. With its ability to capture the Sun in amazing detail, SDO observed it all in extreme ultraviolet light. This particular video clip used an image every minutes to present the motion. Credit: NASA SDO

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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00:29
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NASA SDO - X1.9 Class Solar Flare, November 3, 2011.mov

"Bad Boy" active region 1339 continues to flare. At 20:27 UT a solar flare peaked at X1.9. X-class flares are pretty massive and are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. The location of this sunspot/active region is still not quiet Earth directed. Credit: NASA SDO

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04:49
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NASA SDO - Aurora; What Causes Them?

Aurora are colorful lights in the night time sky primarily appearing in Earth's polar regions. But what causes them? The culprit behind aurora is our own Sun and the solar plasma that is ejected during a magnetic event like a flare or a coronal mass ejection. This plasma travels outward along with the solar wind and when it encounters Earth's magnetic field, it travels down the field lines that connect at the poles. Atoms in the plasma interacts with atoms in Earth's upper atmosphere.

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NASA | SDO Sees Comet Lovejoy Survive Close Encounter with Sun

One instrument watching for the comet was the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which adjusted its cameras in order to watch the trajectory. Not only does this help with comet research, but it also helps orient instruments on SDO -- since the scientists know where the comet is based on other spacecraft, they can finely determine the position of SDO's mirrors. This first clip from SDO from the evening of Dec 15, 2011 shows Comet Lovejoy moving in toward the sun. Comet Lovejoy survived its encounter with the sun. The second clip shows the comet exiting from behind the right side of the sun, after an hour of travel through its closest approach to the sun. By tracking how the comet interacts with the sun's atmosphere, the corona, and how material from the tail moves along the sun's magnetic field lines, solar scientists hope to learn more about the corona. This movie was filmed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in 171 Angstrom wavelength, which is typically shown in yellow. Credit: NASA/SDO This video is public domain. Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/iTunes/f0004_index.html Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NASA.GSFC Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NASAGoddard

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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00:28
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NASA SDO - X2-class Solar Flare, January 27, 2012

Our "bad boy" sunspot 1402 continues to unleash flares. At 18:37 UT this active region produced the largest category of flares; an X-class flare. It measured X2 to be exact. Since this active region is rotating over the limb of the Sun the eruption was not Earth directed. But energetic protons accelerated by the blast are now surrounding our planet and a S1-class radiation storm is in progress. S1-class is the lowest of 5 (S1 to S5) and has no biological impact, no satellite operations are impacted but some minor impact on HF radio is experienced. Credit: NASA SDO

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00:23
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NASA SDO - Planet-sized Bubbles

An intense solar flare observation by yours truly on October 22, 2011. Especially watch the dark "blobs" falling downward into the flare from above. These are not dense blobs of cool matter - they're actually voids in plasma! Planet-sized bubbles of low density, moving through the 15 million-degree plasma. This warms the cockles of my heart. Credit: NASA SDO

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00:20
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NASA SDO - Lunar Transit, February 21, 2012

Today we were treated to a very special sight; the Moon came in between the SDO satellite and the Sun. For 1 hour and 41 minutes team SDO observed the Lunar Transit. This event only happens a few times a year but gives the SDO Team an opportunity to better understand the AIA instrument on SDO and give it a fine tune. This video shows today's Lunar Eclipse in a variety of wavelengths the AIA instrument observes. Each wavelength shows us a different temperature and layer of the Sun, allowing us to study the Sun and its activities. Credit: NASA SDO

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NASA SDO - M8.7-class Solar Flare, Jan 23, 2012

The Chinese New Year certainly started with a bang this morning. At approx. 04:00 UT a strong and long duration M8.7-class solar flare exploded from Active Region 1402. NASA SDO captured this event and thanks to ESA/NASA SOHO and NASA STEREO Behind spacecrafts, we have also learned of a very quick moving Coronal Mass Ejection. The CME is traveling at approx. 2,200 km per second and the Goddard Space Weather Lab predicts the arrival of this CME on earth to be January 24, 2012 at approx. 14:18 UT (+/- 7 hours). It also shows that Mars will get hit too, several hours after Earth. These kinds of events can cause problems for spacecrafts in geosynchronous, polar and other orbits passing could be affected by the cloud's arrival. In addition, strong geomagnetic storms are possible, so high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for Aurorae. Credit: NASA SDO

Channels: Solar astronomy 

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