This is the Solar Dynamics Observatory Mission blog. It will consist of mission status, news, and event updates.
I also looked at the AIA 1600 Å passband and see a beautiful filament at 13:23:50 UTC. The filament is bright because it reflects light from the Sun towards SDO and emits its own light. Use Helioviewer to create your own movie of this passband to see the rest of the flare and filament liftoff.
Solar Cycle 25 is getting interesting!
A magnetic complex, destined to become Active Region 3006, was rotating into view on May 3, 2022, when it was the site of an X1.1 flare at 1309 UTC. Three hours later HMI observed a filament liftoff.
Junwei Zhao used all of the HMI frames to produce this movie of a filament liftoff and other evolution of the solar atmopshere above the nascent AR 3006.This movie was made by using all of HMI’s 6 line-position intensities — not just the continuum images. Thus, this movie has an amazing 7.5-sec cadence, showing many more details than a 45-sec cadence movie. Because the data is from above the limb, Fe I 6173 is no longer an absorption line, we mostly see how it scatters light from the solar surface towards SDO. (The same is true when you look at filaments in Hα. The filaments are dark against the disk but are seen as bright prominences above the limb.) In this movie the on-disk signal is completely saturated so that the off-limb signal is more easily seen. This movie is also showing a reverse image of the off-limb pixels. The dark material would be bright in the original images. The images are 150" squares. The Sun is 1904" across on May 3, so the area seen in the movie is only 0.6% of the Sun's area.
The movie clearly shows material being ejected from the Sun. Some material falls back towards the surface, but then stopped falling and was held there for a few minutes before the light faded away.
Another interesting thing is that a post-flare arcade formed right beside the limb. Although it is small and remains close to the limb, it was undoubtedly there for a few minutes.
This is the fourth off-limb flare captured by the HMI. The first three resulted in quite a few publications in studying the polarization of the off-limb flare loops, the emission mechanisms of the off-limb white flares, and studies coupling the white-light and UV/EUV/X-ray observations. This high-cadence movie shows that we still haven't figured out all of the ways SDO data can be used to study the Sun.
Thanks to Todd Hoeksema, Sushant Mahajan, and Junwei Zhao, all members of the HMI Team at Stanford, for discovering and providing the movies of this limb flare and filament liftoff.
I hope you enjoy this movie.
During the day we adjusted the fine guidance telescope, which causes the images to bounce a little bit. The flare starts at 17:26 UTC and ends at 17:46 UTC. What I found cool about this flare was the lass of plasma just south of the flare site. Here are two stills from the movie.
The material that left the Sun isn't all that close to the flare. But you can see in the movie that the haze goes away just after the flare. Look at the movie a few times and you will see the haze disappear.
There is also an excellent coronal cavity display at about 4 o'clock on the limb. These cavities are usually much slower in their evolution.
It is already a great Solar Cycle!
The Flight Operations Team at Goddard Space Flight Center is another part of SDO’s success. The satellite and ground station are in great shape. FOT members help the science team by planning maneuvers to reduce the of time science data can’t be recorded. They have come to the MOC at odd hours to help resolve a problem and keep the data flowing.
But we shouldn’t forget the final team member, the Sun. And today we can see in the far-side images from February 13, 2022, that a large active region is sitting on the far side of the Sun. We should be seeing it rotate into view about 4 days from today (7 days from February 13). There are at least 4 numbered active regions on the Sun right now. How many will be there next week?
Far-side images come from analyzing the helioseismic data of HMI and similar instruments. They are useful to watch for active regions developing on the far-side of the Sun where we have little or no other information. Twelve years of HMI data have improved the far-side images, now we will benefit from that work during Solar Cycle 25.
SDO is GO!
Over the next few days SDO will be supporting the validation of the PHI instrument on Solar Orbiter. PHI is similar to the HMI instrument on SDO. It uses the same spectral line of iron at 6173 Å to measure the line-of-sight Doppler velocity and the vector magnetic field on the solar surface. This weekend marks a time when the SO orbital position allows the scientists to do stereoscopic helioseismic observations, a first for us.
Next month, on 25 Feb 2022, SDO will support the 11th perihelion passage of the Parker Solar Probe.
Other dates of interest are: The Spring 2022 Eclipse Season starts 24 Jan 2022 and ends 17 Feb 2022. Stationkeeping Maneuver #24 is tentatively scheduled for 2326 UTC (6:26 pm ET), 02 Feb 2022.
Enjoy the Winter Solstice!