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Solar dynamics observatory will be ready for  launch in February 9/2010 on an Atlas V from SLC 41 at Cape Canaveral. SDO will fly three scientific experiments: Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), EUV Variability Experiment (EVE), Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI). This set of instruments will measure the extreme ultraviolet spectral irradiance of the Sun at a rapid cadence, measure the Doppler shifts due to oscillation velocities over the entire visible disk, make high-resolution measurements of the longitudinal and vector magnetic field over the entire visible disk, make images of the chromosphere and inner corona at several temperatures at a rapid cadence, make those measurements over a significant portion of a solar cycle to capture the solar variations that may exist in different time periods of a solar cycle. SDO's AIA instrument will have 1/2 greater image resolution than STEREO and 3/4 greater imaging resolution than SOHO. The image cadience also varies. SDO takes 1 image every .10 of a second. At best STEREO takes 1 image every 3 minutes and SOHO takes 1 image every 12 minutes.SDO will study how solar activity is created and how Space Weather comes from that activity. Measurements of the interior of the Sun, the Sun's magnetic field, the hot plasma of the solar corona, and the irradiance that creates the ionospheres of the planets will be also primary data products. SDO will help us to understand the how and why of the Sun's magnetic changes.

The scientific goals of the SDO Project are to improve our understanding of seven science questions:
  1. What mechanisms drive the quasi-periodic 11-year cycle of solar activity?
  2. How is active region magnetic flux synthesized, concentrated, and dispersed across the solar surface?
  3. How does magnetic reconnection on small scales reorganize the large-scale field topology and current systems and how significant is it in heating the corona and accelerating the solar wind?
  4. Where do the observed variations in the Sun's EUV spectral irradiance arise, and how do they relate to the magnetic activity cycles?
  5. What magnetic field configurations lead to the CMEs, filament eruptions, and flares that produce energetic particles and radiation?
  6. Can the structure and dynamics of the solar wind near Earth be determined from the magnetic field configuration and atmospheric structure near the solar surface?
  7. When will activity occur, and is it possible to make accurate and reliable forecasts of space weather and climate?
More info: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/

 


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