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NASA Space Science

NASA Solar Satellite's First Sun Images 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the picture-in-the-sun dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA today showed off the amazing first pictures of the Sun taken from its 6,800lb Solar Dynamics Observatory flying at an orbit 22,300 miles above Earth. The first images show a variety of activity NASA says provide never-before-seen detail of material streaming outward and away from sunspots. Others show extreme close-ups of activity on the sun's surface. The spacecraft also has made the first high-resolution measurements of solar flares in a broad range of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths."
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NASA Solar Satellite's First Sun Images

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  • by adosch (1397357) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:14PM (#31934358)

    I'd love to see the infrastructure design document from whomever is working at Solar Dynamics Observatory on what they are using for an online disk and long-term storage solution. If they are doing MOC, ingest and data processing/control all in one central location with was mentioned ITFA:

    Specifically, NASA says the SDO will beam back 1.5 terabytes of data every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week

    Annually, at it's rawest data form, they house ~548TB (0.5 petabytes)!! I work for a NASA funded land processing project, and with our MODIS ingest from GSFC [nasa.gov] and ASTER pan ingest from Japan, in 11 years, we've accumulated close to 1.5PB of data. Of course, this is trimmed down and anything we need to generate other data product levels is starting to get housed long-term, but that's a HELL of a long of volume to consume and do fantastic projects with. Hurray for science once again. At least this NASA function still is getting money, eh?

  • by gront (594175) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:25PM (#31934458)
    Not sure of the extra-specialness of a solar observatory at the time of a record setting solar minimum.

    "During 2008-2009 NASA scientists noted that the Sun is undergoing a "deep solar minimum," stating: "There were no sunspots observed on 266 of [2008's] 366 days (73%). Prompted by these numbers, some observers suggested that the solar cycle had hit bottom in 2008. Sunspot counts for 2009 have dropped even lower. As of September 14, there were no sunspots on 206 of the year's 257 days (80%). It adds up to one inescapable conclusion: "We're experiencing a very deep solar minimum," says solar physicist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "This is the quietest sun we've seen in almost a century," agrees sunspot expert David Hathaway of the National Space Science and Technology Center NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center.

    from wikipedia quoting legitimate sources http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_minimum [wikipedia.org]

    I'm all for space exploration, but the TFA should at least mention the solar minimum. And isn't http://solarstormwatch.com/ [solarstormwatch.com] more interestin' anyway?

  • by rigorrogue (894093) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:28PM (#31934484)

    Girls(I hope)! Guys!

    These videos are awesome. For once, don't bother with the article, just feast your eyes on extraordinary false-color footage of the source* of our life:

    http://www.nasa.gov/mov/445831main_Alan-1-FirstSunImageandFootageH264.mov [nasa.gov]

    http://www.nasa.gov/mov/445834main_Alan-4-Larger-activeRegion-H264.mov [nasa.gov]

    Others are available here:

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/briefing-materials-20100421.html [nasa.gov]

    These are some of the most beautiful works of art I've ever seen, and I studied Fine Art for over a decade. Ok, I've studied Physics for longer, but still!

    What particularly struck me was the very "organic" looking cell structure (wikipedia suggests they're http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A9nard_cells [wikipedia.org] but I'm not a solar physicist, and I suspect it's just a _little_ bit more complicated than that, what with the vast EM energies at work and such). Call me a nerd, but my chest heaved as though I were looking into the eyes of a beautiful girl** ***.

    * Yada yada

    ** Ok, so I've had a couple of large glasses of wine, and "life looks rosier through the bottom of a wine glass". But then, "in vino veritas". And anyway, it was white wine.

    *** All girls are beautiful.

  • Re:Torrent Please (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oneiros27 (46144) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:41PM (#31935412) Homepage

    Even if someone made it, you have to go through hoops to be allowed to use peer-to-peer anything at NASA.

    I know there's a few multi-GB earth science data sets being distributed using torrents, but when I brought up peer-to-peer anything 2 years ago, before I was working on the data distribution system for SDO, I kept getting push back -- the files are too small to be efficient (~16MB each image); there's too many files to track (with all of the processed forms of the data, we'll be tracking over 400k files per day; more if they recalibrate) ... I finally gave up.

    Maybe we'll get approval for education & public outreach ... we'll likely have to wait to see how hard people hit the servers, and might be able to use the bandwidth savings as justification. (but it'll still take months before we'd be allowed to do it)

  • Re:Network World? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oneiros27 (46144) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:50PM (#31935460) Homepage

    It's your basic blog spam -- slashdot user 'coondoggie [slashdot.org]' submits an article written by 'Michael Cooney'.

    Look at the rest of his submissions -- all just links back to Network World. Maybe he's trying to make up for the loss of Roland [slashdot.org]. (Although, Roland got better in his submissions)

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