NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has achieved another breakthrough. The space telescope has successfully taken 100 millionth photograph of sun on last Monday. The device takes around 57,600 pictures of sun everyday in many wavelengths. This milestone was achieved after five years of the launch of telescope in space.
Solar Dynamic Observatory was constructed in Greenbelt, Maryland and was sent to space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Feb 10, 2010. It transfers around 1.5 terabytes of data on each day, as it uses enhanced Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and couple of other tools.
The AIA is controlled by Solar Dynamic Observatory as it focuses on Sun’s activity throughout. It detects various incidents happening on the surface of the sun including solar flares, a plasma blast which may cause your radio to stay silent for a while and geomagnetic storms.
If AIA could be described briefly, it utilizes four telescopes operational side by side to gather around eight pictures of sun through various wavelengths. According to NASA officials, the sun images assist the scientist to comprehend the mechanics of rolling corona which reaches a temperature thousand times hotter than the surface of the sun.
In order to celebrate the 100 millionth image of the sun, SDO project scientist Mr. Dean Pesnell went through a huge library of images as his personal favorite captured by AIA.
In December 2011, AIA took pictures of a comet’s tail as it soared around the sun. The pictures revealed how a massive comet is destructed in the sun’s atmosphere and severe heat. The 100 millionth image of the sun displayed the black holes known as coronal holes in both northern and southern ends of the sun. The 100 millionth image captured by SDO was processed by NASA officials to turn it into a mosaic. Each square of mosaic image is 50 pixels and reveals ultraviolet light.
As per Mr. Deann Pesnell, the AIA team has worked hard to come up with a telescope of such power and capability. Though the start of the project was delayed, AIA team ensured to complete it on time. The same team will keep managing the AIA telescope and will also keep track of activities on the surface of the sun.