SDO | News & Resources

SDO Mission Blog

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


SDO will perform station-keeping maneuver #16 today. The maneuver begins at 22:12 UTC (5:12 pm ET) and lasts until 22:56 UTC (5:56 pm ET). During the maneuver science data may be blurry or unavailable.

Station-keeping maneuvers are performed to keep SDO inside of its box in the geostationary belt. Even though SDO’s orbit is inclined 28° to the equator (where geostationary satellites orbit), we pass through the geostationary belt twice each day. We must stay inside our longitude box to avoid interfering with our neighbors. SK maneuvers happen about twice each year.

It was a cold day at Cape Kennedy as SDO rose slowly into the sky. Eight years later, SDO has sent over 260 million images of the Sun to the ground. Over 3000 scientific papers have described how the Sun's magnetic field is created and destroyed. We have a large number of citizen scientists who study our images, especially using HelioViewer.

SDO still produces high quality data of the Sun every day. Even Solar Cycle 24 fades from view, we are watching the polar region magnetic fields grow. Large coronal holes can often be seen in the AIA coronal images. Solar Cycle 25 will soon be visible. SDO is ready!

SDO ran a number of maneuvers during January 2018. Science data may be unavailable or blurry on days when a maneuver is run. During eclipse season the Earth blocks the Sun for up to 72 minutes each day around 0700 UTC (2:00 am ET). This is also midnight Mountain Time, the timezone of the SDO ground station.
  • 01/03/18: RWA Jitter Test Successful: Instruments reported no blurring in images; ISS performance looked reasonable.
  • 01/17/18: EVE Cruciform Successfully Executed
  • 01/24/18: HMI roll, starting at 1500 UTC (10:00 am ET)
  • 02/10/18: Spring 2018 Eclipse Season Begins
  • 02/14/18: Stationkeeping Maneuver #16 (2234 UTC, 5:34 pm ET)
  • 03/05/18: Spring 2018 Eclipse Season Ends