That Was the Week that Was, February 21-25, 2011. . . A Digest of Goddard People, Science, & Media, PLUS Historical Tidbits and Our Best Stuff in the Blogpodcastotwitterverse
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Our spewing sun: the star next door loosed a projectile vomitus of plasma on Thursday February 24. The Solar Dynamics Observatory was there to capture the drama in glorious HD.
Here’s what the SDO Pick of the Week had to say:
When a rather large-sized (M 3.6 class) flare occurred near the edge of the Sun, it blew out a gorgeous, waving mass of erupting plasma that swirled and twisted over a 90-minute period (Feb. 24, 2011). This event was captured in extreme ultraviolet light by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft . Some of the material blew out into space and other portions fell back to the surface. Because SDO images are super-HD, we can zoom in on the action and still see exquisite details. And using a cadence of a frame taken every 24 seconds, the sense of motion is, by all appearances, seamless. Sit back and enjoy the jaw-dropping solar show.
Speaking of Glory, the other leading Goddard news of the week was the serial delays in the launch of the latest NASA earth-observing satellite, Glory. Engineers are still troubleshooting a problem with ground support equipment for the Taurus XL rocket. Gogblog had a few words to say earlier this week about the importance of the Glory mission to climate science.
Here’s the latest status of the mission:
Preparations for the launch of NASA’s Glory mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California have been suspended temporarily. Engineers continue to troubleshoot a malfunction in ground support equipment associated with the Taurus XL rocket. . . . “The Glory spacecraft is doing fine,” reported Bryan Fafaul, Glory project manager from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight in Greenbelt, Md. “We are continuing to slow charge the battery until we have a new launch date.”
GOGBLOG’S PICKS OF THE BEST GODDARD LINKS ‘O THE WEEK. . .
NASA Blueshift’s Weekly Awesomeness Round Up features Sara and Maggie’s picks of the coolest astronomy and space stuff of the week.
MODIS Image of the Day features massive tropical cyclone Dianne and its galaxy-like swirliness.
The ASTER instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite imaged the earthquake-stricken Christchurch region in New Zealand.
Goddard’s crack Webb Telescope media team releases an extremely cool interactive tour of the next game-changing NASA space telescope. Take a look under the hood!
THIS WEEK’S PARADE OF BEAUTY SHOTS:
OH AND DID I MENTION? All opinions and opinionlike objects in this blog are mine alone and NOT those of NASA or Goddard Space Flight Center. And while we’re at it, links to websites posted on this blog do not imply endorsement of those websites by NASA.