This is the Solar Dynamics Observatory Mission blog. It will consist of mission status, news, and event updates.
During the transit SDO will be in inertial mode with the fine-guidance system turned off. Images may jiggle around a little bit, but will continue to be observed and recorded.
Although you can see the Moon throughout the movie SDO's instruments cannot see the Moon when it is not covering the Sun. The little white flash seen in the Moon is the word "Moon" being written by the software and then quickly covered. The boxes drawn around and on the Sun help the FOT run the spacecraft. The time is displayed in the lower left corner of the movie. The first seven numbers are the year (2019) and the day of year (271). The six numbers after the period are the hour, minutes, and second of UTC (2 numbers each).
The next SDO Transit will be the Mercury Transit on November 11, 2019. We will have a webpage dedicated to the transit.
Eclipse season started on 08 Aug 2019 and continues until 01 Sept 2019. Each day around midnight Mountain Standard Time (0700 UTC) the Earth passes between SDO and the Sun. This is a normal part of our geosynchronous orbit.
The SDO website upgrade will be happening today and tomorrow. There will be times when the website is unavailable while the new servers are brought on-line and services restarted.
The other is the ability to jump to earlier versions of the Sun Now page through the "Browse Daily Images" in the left column. You can enter a date and Jump to that day's images or Jump one day at a time.
These features were added due to feedback we received from users of the website.
But today is also a day to congratulate Phil Scherrer of Stanford University who is also the HMI PI and the person who watches over the JSOC with the HMI and AIA data. Dr. Scherrer was awarded the Solar Physics Division's Hale Prize last week at the 234th Meeting of the AAS. The Hale Prize is awarded annually to a scientist for outstanding contributions to the field of solar astronomy.
Dr. Scherrer has certainly made contributions to solar physics. He has measured and studied the Sun's magnetic field for 50 years. As important, he has encouraged others to use his data as well. He has also worked in helioseismology, both measuring the velocities of the Sun's surface and the theory of ow those measurements tell us something about the Sun. It is hard to know what our field would look like if he hadn't been around.
This week the American Astronomical Society and the AAS Solar Physics Division had a joint meeting in St Louis. Astronomers and solar physicists got together to discuss our latest papers on understanding the Sun and universe.
Two of those papers were "Listening to the Sun" (by Kyle Ingram-Johnson, W. Dean Pesnell, and Kevin Addison) and "Listening to the Sun: the Sonification of Solar Harmonics Project" (by tim larson, Seth Shafer, and Elaine diFalco). Both papers allow you hear different kinds of SDO data. They were presented as iPosters, so they are available at the links below for others to read through and enjoy.paper converts several solar indices to sound before sonifying AIA images in three ways. You can listen to the entire image, small subsets of the image, and a series of images that shows a filament liftoff. We used a special math curve called a Hilbert curve to walk around the image and convert the pixels values into a set that can be then converted to sound. You should listen to the difference between the full image sonified with a Hilbert curve and sonified with a left-right scan. You will see a big difference. paper shifts HMI sound waves from their very low frequency of about 3 mHz to about 3 kHz so you can hear the tones.
You are working to allow you to sonify images, both the entire image and as subsets, on the SDO website. Look for that new feature in the future.
Until then, please enjoy listening to the Sun!