back to article NASA's Sun-gazing sat grounded

NASA has cancelled today's planned lift-off of its Solar Dynamics Observatory due to unfavourable wind conditions at Cape Canaveral. When it does finally get off the ground, hopefully tomorrow, SDO's "unprecedented mission will study the Sun and its dynamic behavior". Over five years, it will "determine how the Sun’s magnetic …


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  1. Disco-Legend-Zeke
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    Some of the Most beautiful...

    ...output from the space program are the images of the SUN

    As you see in this example: although the photos are still marvelous, the camera has suffered from its time in the harsh environment of space.

    The new sat will give us 16 times the pixels compared to the existing one.

  2. Charles 9

    Props to NASA.

    If you something's out there that can play hobnob with your sensitive electronics and so on, it helps to give it a further look. I'm only curious as to what might happen if or when such solar-based events happen upon THIS thing.

  3. tychotic

    Reinstate NASA's budget if you want to try to help NASA gets its funding for Constellation restored.

  4. Charlie Oscar

    Nearly imax?

    From what i can gather, IMax is 10,000 by 7,000

    how is having one spec less then half and the second close to half close to IMax's resolution?

    or is my maths wrong

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
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    SOHO was getting a bit long in the tooth

    If it's still running.

    This is a superb mission. Hard science which will have definite and immedate applications on Earth. It will give early warning of upcoming large solar storms (although what happens will depend on what precautions have been planned for. Finding a way to partition the power grid into sub sections seems to be pretty important) and with this much detail it *might* improve the modelling of magnetic confinement fusion reactors. The Sun is the *only* working fusion reactor we know about that we have *any* kind of access to.

    The fact that a very complex object is being obbserved in much greater temporal and spatial resolution alone should generate substantial discoveries.

    I hope tha NASA puts in place arrangements (possibly as part of an international consortium) to maintain some kind of permanent satellite watch on the sun.

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