Thursday, May 25, 2017

Today's Lunar Transit

SDO had another visit from the Moon today, as it passed between SDO and Sun.
Here are two AIA 193 images showing the Moon moving onto and roughly maximum coverage.

Always nice to see another member of the solar system paying a visit. See you again in August!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Seven Years of SDO Data!

May 1, 2017 is SDO's 7th birthday of data collection. We launched on February 11, 2010, reached our final orbit, checked out the instruments and spacecraft, and began returning science data on My thanks to the SDO Team for their great work on this mission. My congratulations to the SDO Team for winning a NASA Honor Award for Group Achievement! This award reflects the effort and care the SDO Team has put into the mission.
We have updated a few things on the SDO Website. The kiosk movies will be turned off on May 31. Please migrate to the SDO Dashboard at, which has a lot more flexibility in setting up the 48-hour loop movies. As an added attraction, we have added some higher cadence channels (such as the AIA 171 Å channel shown here). This channel has also been produced with a radial gradient filter that enhances the corona around the edge of the Sun.
Update May 3, 2017: Here's an example of how to embed these html5 videos in a website using the high-cadence AIA 171 Å channel.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Server Maintenance - April 26, 2017

Notice. The SDO webserver will be down for maintenance today, April 26, 2017 at approximately 2:15pm. The outage for last for approximately one hour. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Today's Momentum Management Maneuver #29

Today between 1820 and 1845 UTC (2:20-2:45 pm ET) SDO will perform Momentum Management Maneuver #29. This thruster firing is used to keep the speeds of our reaction wheels within safe limits. As the wheel speeds are adjusted by their motors the thrusters fire to keep SDO pointed towards the Sun.

During this maneuver the science data from SDO may be interrupted or contain blurry images.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Movie of the August 21, 2017, Lunar Transit


Here is a video showing the lunar transit SDO will see on August 21, 2017. While some in the United States will see a Total Solar Eclipse, SDO will see only a glancing transit an hour after the Moon's shadow leaves the US and goes over the Atlantic Ocean.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Today's EVE Cruciform and the Next Few Months

Today SDO is performing the EVE Cruciform. Images may be missing or blurry due to the motion of SDO. The 2017-094 SDO FDS Quarterly (LongSet) Predicts have been delivered. They extend through 2017 DOY 338. The highlights include:
  • 2017/109 (04/19) EVE FOV/ HMI/AIA Flatfield Calibration
  • 2017/116 @ 1825z (04/26 @ 1425L) - Momentum Management Maneuver (Delta-H) MM #29
  • 2017/145 @ 1824 to 1917z (05/25 @ 1424 to 1517L) - Lunar Transit
  • 2017/207 @ TBD (07/26 @ TBD) - Momentum Management Maneuver (Delta-H)MM #30 (tentative)
  • 2017/228 @ 0709z (08/16 @ 0309L) - Eclipse Season Starts
  • 2017/233 @ 1927 to 1955z (08/21 @ 1527 to 1555L) - Lunar Transit (LunTran_2017233_2dc_14pshdw)
  • 2017/242 @ TBD (08/30 @ TBD) - Stationkeeping Maneuver (Delta-V) SK #15 (tentative)
  • 2017/252 @ 0650z (09/09 @ 0250L) - Eclipse Season Ends
  • 2017/292 @ 1941 to 2025z (10/19 @ 1541 to 1625L) - Lunar Transit (LunTran_2017292_2dc_26pshdw)
With these new predicts we now think SDO will see a brief lunar transit on August 21, 2017, 1927-1955 UTC (3:27 pm ET to 3:55 pm ET). Although the Total Solar Eclipse passes over the continental US, SDO sees a brief transit 45 minutes after the Moon's shadow has moved off the coast into the Atlantic Ocean. More about this when the eclipse draws closer.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Website Update

Notice of upcoming change: The kiosk movies currently offered on the SDO website are being discontinued. We are launching a replacement called SDO Dashboard. Support for the kiosk product will end on April 30, 2017. The kiosk movies will be available until May 31, 2017. We are encouraging people to use our new product.

The dashboard product is located at: and is available for testing and use. The new product is similar in that is displays a looping movie of the most recent browse images. However, we are utilizing html5 video technology instead of the javascript slideshow used in the kiosks. This allows you to build your display in a drag-and-drop environment rather than a static html reference.

We are moving to html5 to satisfy website security requirements and to provide a better product. Some users have reported a noticeable flicker with the current kiosk javascript slideshow. Although we were unable to reproduce this flaw, wet concluded that it could be caused by several reasons including browser idiosyncrasies. The javascript solution also had a small memory leak. This necessitated a periodic browser refresh. Our new solution solves these issues and we are excited for the transition.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Planned Outage for the SDO website

A planned outage is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The outage will begin at approximately 8AM and will last until approximately 3PM. The website and all browse image products, movies, and RSS feeds will be taken off line for the duration.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Happy Launch-versary SDO!

Seven years ago Saturday the Solar Dynamics Observatory rose into the Florida skies atop an Atlas V rocket. It was a spectacular sight that put a spectacular mission into orbit. To celebrate, here are some pictures of the models in my office with a solar spectrum lighting them up. (A prism in the window creates the spectrum. It's fun to watch people's reactions when it is displayed on the wall across the hall.)

On the left is the booster model and the right is a little display model of SDO. You can see more of the spectrum around the shadow of the nosecone. I think the rainbow looks pretty good on them. Reminds me of the sundog we saw during launch all those years ago.

SDO has helped to create over 2600 scientific papers since we began producing science data in May 2010. We are very happy that many young scientists are able to “cut their research teeth” in one of the 49 PhD dissertations that have been written using SDO data and science. People keep using helioviewer to look through the images and make movies.

Thanks for using our data. Many thanks to the science teams that keep SDO running.

Happy Launch-versary SDO!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 2017 Maneuvers

Today SDO will perform the EVE Field-of-View calibration maneuver between 1315-1600 UTC (8:15-11:00 A.M. ET) and the HMI Offpoint calibration maneuver between 1630-1907 UTC (11:30 a.m.- 2:07 p.m. ET). During calibration maneuvers HMI magneto grams and Dopplergrams will not be available and AIA images will not be centered and may be blurry.

Last Wednesday, January 4, 2017, SDO successfully executed Momentum Management burn #28. Science data is not available during the 30 minutes of the burn.

The EVE Cruciform calibration maneuver will take place next Wednesday at 1700 UCT (noon ET) and the HMI Roll on January 25, 2017, at 1500 UTC (10:00 a.m. ET).