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Posts Tagged ‘Space’

Paul Richards took one look at the first Space Shuttle launch and thought, “That’s my ride.”

July 22nd, 2011 Comments off
NASA Goddard engineer Paul Richards in 2001, spaking to the media about his upcoming flight on the Space Shuttle mission STS-102.

NASA Goddard engineer Paul Richards in 2001, speaking to the media about his upcoming flight on the Space Shuttle mission STS-102.

What did the Space Shuttle program mean to you?

NASA engineer Paul Richards knew from the moment he saw the first one roar off the pad in 1981.

“The first launch was 1981. I was a junior in high school. I wanted to be an astronaut since I was 5 years old. So as soon as I saw that first Shuttle launch, my thoughts were, ‘That’s my ride. I’m going up on that thing.'”

And he did — once — in 2001. It changed his life.

Yesterday, Richards was one of the speakers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center who recalled their experiences and contributions to the U.S. Space Transportation System, a.k.a., the Space Shuttle. Richards, currently Observatory Manager of the GOES-R satellite program at Goddard, flew in space in 2001 on the STS-102 mission to the International Space Station.

The video below, about 15 minutes long, contains the portion of Richards talk where he walks through his changing “perspectives” on the Shuttle, starting with that first launch in 1981: hearing of the Challenger accident while in college; coming to Goddard and using the Shuttle to launch payloads; getting to know the astronauts; becoming an astronaut; watching friends and colleagues die in the 2003 Columbia accident. And finally, yesterday, watching the final Shuttle land.

Richards was candid, honest, and humble in his storytelling. It seems to me that he and others like him are one of the most precious legacies of the Shuttle era — the NASA people who did great things and took great risks to be true to their belief in the redeeming adventure of human spaceflight.



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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.



GROVER2 gets a set of (aluminum) bones

July 3rd, 2011 Comments off

This summer, Geeked On Goddard is reporting on Engineering Boot Camp, a program run by NASA engineer Mike Comberiate. In the program, new and aspiring young engineers work on technology programs to support NASA science.


guillermo and kyle in shop

The other day I stopped by Building 25 — ground zero for NASA Engineering Boot Camp — and was happy to see the ice-crawling robot, GROVER2, taking shape in the shop. Mechanical systems lead engineer Guillermo Diaz (above, right) took me out to a small brick building neat the main building.

In a marathon 36-hour session, slightly bleary-eyed Guillermo helped assemble and weld GROVER2’s aluminum bones together. Fellow Engineering Boot Camper Kyle Hobin (above, left), an undergraduate engineering student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, took the lead on welding the components together. The team had recently cut them from large aluminum sheets using high-pressure water jet cutting machinery.

Guillermo has also been working overtime to make sure that critical components, such as wheel bearings, arrive in time to complete GROVER2 for a trip to the beach next week for field testing.

As planned, the new rover is narrower and more compact, just 54 inches wide, 60 inches high, and 65 inches long, by my measurements. The two 1/4 horsepower electric motors that will drive GROVER2’s caterpillar tracks (adapted from racing snowmobile components) are already bolted to the frame.

With luck, we’ll be on the beach next Wednesday to put GROVER2 through his paces. In the meantime, here’s a slide show of images from the shop.





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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.



Here’s lookin’ at us: Science Jamboree 2011

June 24th, 2011 Comments off

This year’s Science and Exploration Directorate (SED) Science Jamboree on June 22 was centered on Building 34. Educational tent exhibitions, Science on a Sphere presentations, special invited lectures, and laboratory tours shared our work with the greater Goddard community, in conjunction with Celebrate Goddard Day on the mall. Here are some images from the Jamboree by science writer Dan Pendick and photographer Debbie McCallum.



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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.



How it works: Building the Helioviewer “back end” with JPEG2000

June 16th, 2011 Comments off

Post 1 of 5: Explore the sun on your desktop with Helioviewer
Post 2 of 5: Getting Started with Helioviewer.org
Post 3 of 5: Explore the sun in depth with JHelioviewer
Post 4 of 5: How it works: building the Helioviewer “back end” with JPEG2000


New interactive visualization tools developed by the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Helioviewer Project allow scientists and the general public to explore images captured by solar observing spacecraft. Previous posts explained the origins and aims of the Helioviewer Project, and the basics of a Web-based app called Helioviewer.org. This post looks at the behind-the-scenes technology that makes Helioviewer possible.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory captures hi-def images of the sun and beams them down to Earth at a rate of one every few seconds.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory beams data to Earth at a rate of 150 Mb per second.


The Helioviewer.org Web app and the JHelioviewer software are the on-screen interfaces that users see. But there is also a critical data-processing “back end” that required just as much effort to develop. The challenge was this: How do you acquire and manipulate solar images quickly enough so that the process is truly “real time,” without long waiting times for downloads and glacial refresh rates on the image view every time you make a change, like zooming in on a feature of interest?

This is particularly challenging when working with high-resolution images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. SDO sends down images that are 4,000 by 4,000 pixels, approximately the same number of pixels as in a 13 by 13 inch photographic print.

Google Maps and Google Earth overcame this issue by “tiling” large images into a checkerboard of smaller segments that could be quickly assembled into an image at the scale a user requested.

A Google Maps for the sun
The prototype of Helioviewer took this approach, too, following Google’s lead. “Google Maps was the original inspiration for it,” Helioviewer Project co-founder Jack Ireland says.

In the prototype of Helioviewer.org, each stage of a zoom-in required a complete set of tiles. The system retrieved the tiles it needed to build the view requested by the user with every click of the mouse. The trouble is, as you zoom in it requires an ever-increasing number of small tiles (numbering in the hundreds) to build the new image. Each tile is a separate file, and they all have to be labeled, stored, and pulled from storage and assembled when needed.

Then Helioviewer met JPEG2000, a standard for compressing images to make them extremely small while maintaining very good image quality. Also, JPEG2000 can extract sub-regions of the compressed image file without having to open the whole file.

In other words, the system generates only the part of the image you really want to see. If you have ever downloaded or extracted a very large compressed image file, you understand the time saving that JPEG2000 offers.

“One thing that changed early on that made a huge difference and made all this really possible is that we use this JPEG2000 technology,” Helioviewer Project co-founder Keith Hughitt explains. “Instead of generating all the possible tiles for every single image, we wait until the user asks for a tile and generate it right then, and only generate the ones we need. We were able to develop a way to do that quickly enough that you can do it right on the Web page.”

Data pipeline from Palo Alto
Lockheed Martin’s Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, based  in Palo Alto, California, that built the Atmospheric Imaging Instrument aboard SDO, uses JPEG2000 to compress every third new SDO image (i.e. one every few seconds) and then sends them through a data pipeline to Goddard. The image can be available on Helioviewer’s server at Goddard in as little as 20 minutes.

The system needs to store this one compressed master file, not hundreds of tiles. That one image file — or a portion of it — can be quickly decompressed and displayed at the resolution needed.

For example, as you click the little “plus sign” icon on Helioviewer to zoom in on a flare on the surface of the sun, the back end of the system decompresses the same file multiple times at increasing resolution — like a telephoto lens capturing an image at ever higher magnification — and displays it on your computer screen.

This “on the fly” manipulation also applies to time-lapse videos made with JHelioviewer. “JHelioviewer tells the server which portion of the images it is interested in, and the video-stream is updated in real time so that only those bits are transmitted back to JHelioviewer,” Hughitt explains. “The result is a sort of ‘dynamic’ movie stream that you can create, and then adjust as you are playing it.”

This means that as the video plays, you can zoom, pan, sharpen, brighten, or follow a specific feature across the sun. If you choose to download the video, the server renders the final product at whatever settings you choose.

If not for JPEG2000, you would need to download an entirely new version of the video – amounting to gigabytes of data – every time you made a change.  Another way of saying this is “the Web back in the 1990s.”



LEARN MORE

Helioviewer.org (Web app)

A collection of video highlights from 2011 (so far) created by Helioviewer.org users.

See a Helioviewer.org video made by “citizen scientist” LudzikLegoTechnics on YouTube.

The Helioviewer Project Wiki

JHelioviewer (downloadable software)

Read a Web feature about JHelioviewer and its capabilities

The JHelioviewer online handbook

JHelioviewer video tutorial on YouTube HD

ESA Web feature about JHelioviewer.

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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.




Introducing Andy Hoffmaster and GROVER the rover

June 15th, 2011 Comments off

Post 1: Welcome to Engineering Boot Camp
Post 2: Introducing Andy Hoffmaster & GROVER the rover

Andrew Hoffmaster and GROVER, Assateague Island State Park, Md.

Andrew Hoffmaster and GROVER, Assateague State Park, Md.

Andrew (Andy) Hoffmaster is one of the dozens of interns working this summer in the Engineering Boot Camp at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He recently graduated from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., with a degree in biomedical engineering

It’s Hoffmaster’s third year in Engineering Boot Camp. This year he has stepped up to a leadership role, supervising five different teams of interns who are working on a science robot called GROVER. In a time-honored NASA tradition, “GROVER” is a very impressive-sounding acronym: Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research.

photo of grover rover on beach

GROVER on the beach.

GROVER, in a nutshell, is a solar-and-wind-powered, caterpillar-tracked rover that carries a ground-penetrating radar device. It is designed to roam alone for months at a time measuring the thickness of the Central Greenland Ice Sheet, which is about the size of Texas. “The problem with sending people is that they run out of food and fuel too fast,” explains “NASA Mike” Comberiati, who runs the internship.

Someday, GROVER will crawl across frigid Greenland at up to 3 mph, 10 hours per day, for 4 months. NASA Mike and his interns are working with NASA cryosphere researchers Lora Koenig and Hans-Peter Marshall on the project. (Koenig is based at Goddard; Marshall is at Boise State University in Idaho.

GROVER being unloaded.

GROVER being unloaded.

Hoffmaster and GROVER have spent a lot of time together, although in his first year  internship (2009), he didn’t work on GROVER at all. He designed and built the mechanical parts for a laser-scanning device on another robot, referred to as “the Mothership.” More on the Mothership in future posts, but you can take a quick look at her HERE.

GROVER 1 & 2
In his second internship season (2010), Hoffmaster started working on GROVER. He built the housing for the rover’s electronics. In January 2011, he accompanied Comberiati to McMurdo Station in Antarctica to help install and configure equipment to communicate with NOAA POES satellites.

Making tracks!

Making tracks!

GROVER 1 (shown in the video and images in this post) weighs about 700 pounds. Its solar panels and wind turbines — the spinning blades produce power when it’s cloudy — provide ample power. It has performed admirably in testing.

But GROVER 1 is too heavy and too big, and it takes too long and too much work to unload and assemble. This summer, the interns assigned to build a better GROVER.

GROVER 2.0 will be lighter and smaller. It will sport more efficient solar panels and a lower center of gravity to resist tip-overs in gusty Greenland winds. The rover will also gain software to allow it to operate without constant human monitoring, and to uplink data via the Iridium satellite network.

Also, GROVER 2 will be fabricated in three sections to enable rapid assembly by people wearing bulky cold-weather gloves. After all, standing around in the cold in Greenland can be a health hazard!

This, and more, will require the labor of five intern teams to design, build, and test the electrical components and systems (headed by Hoffmaster) and four mechanical teams (headed by senior intern Guillermo Diaz, a student at Tec de Monterrey in Mexico). It all has to happen in about 5 weeks’ time.

Last year’s crop of interns completed construction of GROVER 1, which today sits on the front lawn of Building 25 in Goddard’s wooded east Campus. The rover will serve this year as a test bed for some of GROVER 2’s new systems.





On the beach with GROVER
It was a chilly day, April 1, 2011. Hoffmaster and three other interns drove with NASA Mike down to Assateague State Park, with GROVER on a flatbed truck. While backing GROVER down the ramps onto the beach, they paused cautiously to check the rover’s orientation.

Then something weird happened, Hoffmaster says. One of the twin caterpillar tracks switched into full reverse and tipped GROVER off the ramps and onto the sand. Thankfully, the robot was unscathed except for a piece of bent metal.

The culprit: “anomalous cold bit.” To us non-specialists, that means that because of cold temperatures, the caterpillar track’s electronic controller sent an incorrect instruction. It’s just the sort of thing that can happen during the development of new technology, and the interns will work to solve it this summer.

On the beach, GROVER proved itself, with enough traction to drag Andy across the sand. Sand, it turns out, is close enough to snow (from GROVER’s point of view) to provide a decent simulation of the rover’s performance in Greenland. They tested it until 3:30 that afternoon and headed for home.

Andy says Engineering Boot Camp gave him valuable engineering insights and skills that he will be able to apply to his new job with Aretech in Dulles, Virginia, developing physical therapy equipment for rehabilitating stroke patients. He’ll work on a device called a “body weight support gait trainer.” It’s a harness on a motorized trolley track that supports patients safely as they re-learn how to walk after brain injury. “I took what I learned at Goddard and can apply it to human kinematics.”

Explore the sun in depth with JHelioviewer

June 15th, 2011 Comments off

Post 1 of 5: Explore the sun on your desktop with Helioviewer
Post 2 of 5: Getting Started with Helioviewer.org
Post 3 of 5: Explore the sun in depth with JHelioviewer]

New interactive visualization tools developed by the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Helioviewer Project allow scientists and the general public to explore images captured by solar observing spacecraft. Previous posts explained the origins and aims of the Helioviewer Project, and the basics of a Web-based app called Helioviewer.org. This post takes a closer look at a downloadable software application JHelioviewer.

JHViewer_600

The Web app Helioviewer.org allows you to dip your toes into the water of solar image visualization. JHelioviewer, a piece of software you install on your computer, is a dive into the deep end. It gives you powerful additional tools to create vivid images and time-lapse videos.

When you install and start JHelioviewer, it displays a time-lapse video of the most recent 24-hour set of images available from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) at 171 Angstroms. (Read this previous post to learn more about the AIA 171 Angstrom channel on SDO.)

Here are the basic menus along the left of the JHelioviewer desktop. Guidance is also available on the JHelioviewer Wiki Handbook.

SCREEN SHOT OF overview menu areaOverview
In the Overview menu area (top left), use the yellow frame with the little “Bull’s eye” to target the area of the image you want to work with. If you have a thumb wheel on your mouse, use it to expand or contract the size of the frame. Or use the Zoom in and Zoom out buttons on the top navigation bar.

One of the coolest tools in JHelioviewer is Feature tracking. Center the yellow Bull’s eye on a feature and click the Track icon on the top-navigation bar. When you make a time-lapse video, it will hold the targeted feature steady as the rest of the sun moves around it! The software compensates for the rotation of the sun.

This can be especially dramatic if you zoom in close to a feature, like a tangle of magnetic loops, and switch on Track. The feature stays right in the center of the viewer as you watch the magnetic loops dance.

movie-controls_250Movie Controls
With the More Options tab selected, you can adjust the per-second cadence of your video sequence. The higher the rate, the smoother the video.

Also, there are three play modes: play once and stop; loop forward; or play forward and then backward.

screen shot of layer menuLayers
These controls allow you to create sets of solar images to examine, alter, and render into videos. Clicking Add Layer brings up a panel for choosing the start and stop dates, the observatory, the instrument, and the time step between images. The time settings are in UTC (coordinated universal time), which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). UTC minus 5 hours gives you Eastern Standard Time.

If you, for example, want to make a video of the past day of solar activity, choose a 24-hour start and stop interval. Now you have to choose the Time Step. Once per hour will make a pretty jumpy video.

So, say you pick the other extreme — once per minute. Unfortunately, you can’t do it, because the system limits you to sets of no more than 1000 images at a time, and there are 1,440 minutes in a day. How about every 10 minutes? Set the Time Step to 2 minutes and you will get 144 images to cover the 24-hour period.

screen shot of adjustments menuAdjustments
The video you create initially may already look pretty good. But you can use the Adjustments tools to tweak the look of the video and highlight details. Sharpen compensates for fuzziness. Gamma brightens the image. And Contrast increases the differences between bright and dark areas.

Another cool feature: You can make these changes “on the fly,” as your video continues to play. You can also switch AIA instruments on the fly, and frame rate, too, to get the perfect video.

HEK Events
Turning on this feature adds a layer of labels drawn from the Heliophysics Events Knowledgebase. It labels flares, for example, with a special icon. Clicking on an icon makes a window pop up with detailed technical information about the event.

screen shot of HEK regions

HEK events

Cool stuff in JHelioviewer
You can create multiple layers and adjust the relative contribution of each using the Opacity control. Layers chosen from the same time period will play in synch.

Another cool feature: Notice in the Layers panel how you can watch the minutes, hours, days, etc. progress as the video plays. I made a 1-year video to browse for times of the year when the sun was especially active, then went back to those periods to grab still images.

For example, set the time to October 7, 2010, and make a video of that day. Do you see a big dark circle cross in front of the sun? That was the moon during a lunar transit.

JHelioviewer does not, like the Web app Helioviewer.org, allow you to instantly share your video to YouTube. But you can download it as an mp4 file (File>Export Movie), and post it manually on your blog, YouTube channel, or other sharing sites.

But watch out for the file size! My 1-year video at 12-hour time steps (627 SDO images) came in at a file size of 127 Mb. To generate a smaller output file, make the “frame size” smaller in the Export dialog settings.

Here is the video I made with JHelioviewer of a year in the life of our star, May 2010 to May 2011. You can do it, too.





LEARN MORE

Helioviewer.org (Web app)

A collection of video highlights from 2011 (so far) created by Helioviewer.org users.

See a Helioviewer.org video made by “citizen scientist” LudzikLegoTechnics on YouTube.

The Helioviewer Project Wiki

JHelioviewer (downloadable software)

Read a Web feature about JHelioviewer and its capabilities

The JHelioviewer online handbook

JHelioviewer video tutorial on YouTube HD

ESA Web feature about JHelioviewer.

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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.




Getting started with Helioviewer.org

June 14th, 2011 Comments off

Post 1 of 5: Explore the sun on your desktop with Helioviewer
Post 2 of 5: Getting Started with Helioviewer.org

New interactive visualization tools developed by the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Helioviewer Project allow scientists and the general public to explore the growing body of high-definition images of the sun captured by solar observing spacecraft. A previous post explained the origin and aims of the Helioviewer Project. This post takes a closer look at a Web-based tool called Helioviewer.org.


screen shot of helioviewer.org desktop


When you first visit Helioviewer.org, you’ll see an orange ball. That’s the most recent image available of the sun, courtesy of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

The Time menu
image of time menuAt the top left of the image window, three drop-down menus allow you to choose the time and date at which you want to observe the sun, including latest, meaning “the most recent available.”

The time is given in UTC: coordinated universal time, also known as GMT, or Greenwich Mean Time. To convert to U.S. Eastern Standard Time, subtract 5 hours from UTC (and so on).

Time-step allows you to browse solar images in steps of 1 second to 1 year.

The Images menu
screen shot of images menuWhen you first visit Helioviewer.org, the Images menu setting will default to the most recent SDO image available from the spacecraft’s Atmospheric Imagining Assembly (AIA) instrument at a wavelength of 304 Angstroms.

Think of it as looking at the sun through a filter that blocks out everything except the wavelengths near 304 Angstroms. The AIA has 10 such “channels. This Wikipedia article about SDO includes a helpful table showing the different channels and what temperature of solar material they correspond to.

To be more specific, the 304 Angstrom view from SDO is the energy emitted by positively charged helium atoms (He+) at around 60,000-80,000 degrees. In SDO images, it is commonly displayed  in a rich orange color.

Click anywhere on the title bar for AIA 304. This expands your viewing options.

The Opacity slider is a fader control, allowing you to display from zero to 100 percent of the image.

Below that, drop-down menus allow you to choose the image source by observatory/spacecraft, instrument, detector, and measurement type.

So, for example, change the measurement type from AIA 304 to AIA 171. At 171 Angstroms, you see magnetic loop structures protruding from the solar surface.

The AIA 171 captures ultraviolet light from processes on the sun occurring at more than a half-million degrees (compared to AIA 304’s 60,000 degrees).

screen shot of images controlsMixing multiple images
The real magic of Helioviewer.org starts when you click Add at the top right of the image menu area. This creates a second (or third, or fourth…) image.

You can use these menus to seamlessly overlay and combine multiple images of the same solar image captured in different wavelengths by SOHO and SDO.

To do it, call up multiple images at different wavelengths and then use the Opacity sliders to meld the images together by altering their relative brightnesses.

The really cool thing is that Helioviewer.org (and JHelioviewer) allow you to visualize a process happening on the sun in different ways (by overlaying images from different instruments). Or you can explore the relationship between different processes happening at different times.

Making time-lapse videos
Click Movie at the top right of the image window to create a time-lapse video of the sun’s surface. The default setting will create a video covering 24 hours, centered on the current observation time.

Alternatively, you can click Settings above the image window to make a video with duration of 3 hours to 1 week.

screen shot of video start buttonUnder normal traffic conditions, it will take a minute or two to generate the video. But as more users call on this service, the wait times increase. In fact, in the days following the June 7 prominence eruption, the demand for video was so great that the Helioviewer Project had to literally erase the queue of requests as they stretched into days.

A pop up window will let you know when the video is ready. You will have the option of either downloading a copy or sharing it to YouTube.

The Recently shared window shows you a video recently uploaded by someone to YouTube,

Other sharing features
The Link and Screenshot features also allow you to share or store images or combinations of images created using Helioviewer.org.

Tomorrow: Explore solar images and video in depth with JHelioviewer.


LEARN MORE

Helioviewer.org (Web app)

A collection of video highlights from 2011 (so far) created by Helioviewer.org users.

See a Helioviewer.org video made by “citizen scientist” LudzikLegoTechnics on YouTube.

The Helioviewer Project Wiki:

JHelioviewer (downloadable software)

Read a Web feature about JHelioviewer and its capabilities

The JHelioviewer online handbook

JHelioviewer video tutorial on YouTube HD

ESA Web feature about JHelioviewer.

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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.




UPDATE: Slow-motion video sequence of spectacular fountaining prominence eruption on the sun this morning

June 7th, 2011 Comments off



june 7 2011 prominence eruption image
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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.




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UPDATE: Extreme close-up looped video of today’s spectacular prominence eruption on the sun

June 7th, 2011 4 comments

Thanks to the amazing software JHelioviewer by NASA Goddard and the European Space Agency, here is an extreme close-up shot of this morning’s prominence eruption.

As quoted in The Universe Today by Nancy Atkinson:

“I’ve never seen material released like this before, such a huge amount that falls back down in such a spectacular way,” says Dr. C. Alex Young in the video. “It looks like someone just kicked a giant clod of dirt into the air and it fell back down.” Young added that this event will probably not cause any problems as far as space weather affecting Earth.





image of solar prominence eruptiuon on june 7, 2011
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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.


Spectacular prominence eruption on the sun! Don’t miss this!

June 7th, 2011 24 comments

image of solar prominence eruptiuon on june 7, 2011


This morning, Jack Ireland of NASA Goddard’s Helioviewer Project sent an email alerting us to a “spectacular” event still in progress on the sun. It was a huge prominence eruption, marked by a solar flare and release of energetic particles. It looks like a fountain of plasma that blasts out of the solar surface, spreads outward, and collapses to splat back down.

Here is video courtesy Helioviewer.org and a narration by The Sun Today.


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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.