SDO | News & Resources

SDO Mission Blog

This is the Solar Dynamics Observatory Mission blog. It will consist of mission status, news, and event updates.


Nine years ago today, at 10:23 am ET, SDO rose into the sky atop an Atlas V 401 launch vehicle. Since that day SDO has returned over 350 million images of the Sun, produced over 3000 scientific articles, and allowed millions to enjoy the Sun. Solar Cycle 24 was just starting in 2010. SDO watched it grow to maximum in 2014 and now the Sun is often spotless.

Here is a summary slide of what SDO saw. The AIA 193 Å shows the lower corona and the HMI magnetogram shows the surface magnetic field. We try to understand the Sun by watching what happens at the poles. The dark areas near the North and South poles in the October 2010 and February 2019 193 Å images are the polar coronal holes. They have disappeared by solar maximum (the February 2014 images). The magnetograms show how the Sun's magnetic field gets more complicated at maximum and quite simple at minimum. What happens in the poles at solar minimum seems to be one of our best predictors of future solar activity.

SDO data is the basis of accurate models of the solar corona. Machine Learning algorithms are being used to squeeze even more information out of our 12 PB of data. We are looking forward to another lengthy lunar transit next month and the Mercury transit in November.

You can make your own SDO Anniversary movie at our website sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov or the Helioviewer website.

Happy Anniversary SDO!

The replacement of the computers serving https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov have arrived at Goddard! The system will be replaced and the data moved to the new drives over the next few weeks. We will be ready to serve the near-realtime images during the Mercury transit on November 11, 2019.
The highlights of SDO's maneuvers for the first 2/3's of 2019 are:
  1. 01/31 @ 0506 UTC (00:06 am ET) - Spring Handover Season Starts
  2. 02/06 @ 0723 UTC (02:23 am ET) - Spring Eclipse Season Starts
  3. 02/20 @ 2210 UTC (10:10 pm ET) - Station Keeping maneuver #18
  4. 03/01 @ 0713 UTC (02:13 am ET) - Spring Eclipse Season Ends
  5. 03/06 2200 UTC to 03/07 0206 UTC (03/06, 05:00 to 09:06 pm ET) - Lunar Transit (movie released next week)
  6. 03/27 @ 0310 UTC (10:10 pm ET) - Spring Handover Season Ends
  7. 05/01 @ TBD - Momentum Management maneuver #34 (Tentative Date)
  8. 07/17 @ 0445 UTC (12:45 am ET) – Fall Handover Season Begins
  9. 07/24 @ TBD - Station Keeping maneuver #19 (Tentative)
  10. 08/08 @ 0709 UTC (03:09 am ET) – Fall Eclipse Season Starts
  11. 09/01 @ 0658 UTC (02:58 am ET) – Fall Eclipse Season Ends
The Federal Government is currently shut down. Although the SDO spacecraft continues to be monitored and the science data continues to be generated, the Goddard website at sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov may be unavailable.
SDO will perform Momentum Management Maneuver (Delta-H) #33 between 1946 and 2040 UTC (2:46-3:40 pm ET) today. We will fire the thrusters to bring the reaction wheels to their planned speeds. Science data may be unavailable or blurry during the maneuver.