NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) celebrated its fifth anniversary on Wednesday, February 11. SDO keeps a 24/7 vigil capturing super-high-quality images of the Sun and to celebrate the amazing work of this Observatory, NASA released a highlight 3 minutes video depicting five years in the life of the Sun. NASA revealed that the different colors in the video highlights the various wavelengths in which SDO captures the sun.
The SDO was being designed and built while Astronomer Phil Plait was working at Goddard Space Flight Center. On this occasion, Plait expressed that he still remembers those discussion with colleagues about how much data would be sent back and how much would be probed. The astronomer said that there is so much to learn from the SDO work, including solar flares, rolling sunspots, collapsing filaments and eruptive prominences and more.
Plait noted that the mission has revealed our complex Sun far better than anything before it and has turned out to be far more than he imagined.
To celebrate SDO’s fifth anniversary, NASA inaugurated the Solarium exhibit at its Goddard Visitor Center, Maryland, in an effort to let people see and immerse into the weird SDO imagery and SOHO sounds. The people who built SDO also came by at the opening to celebrate the anniversary.
CITYLAB describes the Solarium exhibit as a nightmare room of solar fire, immersing viewers into the “boiling plasma and eerie soundscape” of the Sun. NASA has animated the images, sent by SDO, on the walls of Solarium to recreate the extreme details.
February 11, was also special as it marked the launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, a space weather spacecraft to strengthen the real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities. The spacecraft will be able to send alerts 15 to 60 minute prior to the surge of coronal mass ejection and will also help predict locations that might be affected by geomagnetic storm impact.