April 26, 2010

Staring at the Sun

» TV On The Radio – Staring at the Sun (Diplo Remix) (4:12) – 3.9MB mp3 @ 128kbps

sun-sdo-1

NASA’s recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is returning early images that confirm an unprecedented new capability for scientists to better understand our sun’s dynamic processes. These solar activities affect everything on Earth.

Some of the images from the spacecraft show never-before-seen detail of material streaming outward and away from sunspots. Others show extreme close-ups of activity on the sun’s surface. The spacecraft also has made the first high-resolution measurements of solar flares in a broad range of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths.

NASA

via 3qd

“These initial images show a dynamic sun that I had never seen in more than 40 years of solar research,” said at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “SDO will change our understanding of the sun and its processes, which affect our lives and society. This mission will have a huge impact on science, similar to the impact of the Hubble Space Telescope on modern astrophysics.”

Richard Fisher, Director of NASA’s Heliophysics Division

NYT / GOOD

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hs-2010-13-a-large_web

Mystic Mountain

Speaking of which:

NASA’s best-recognized, longest-lived, and most prolific space observatory zooms past a threshold of 20 years of operation [since its launch] on April 24, 1990

Hubble discoveries revolutionized nearly all areas of current astronomical research, from planetary science to cosmology. And, its pictures were unmistakably out of this world. This brand new Hubble photo is of a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula.

Hubble Site / via Gawker

http://www.boingboing.net/89979_Hubble_STScI_2004_27-tm.jpg

Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543)

Boingboing also has a gallery of Hubble images from the “stunning new book Hubble: A Journey Through Space and Time by Edward J. Weiler, published by Abrams in collaboration with NASA.”

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See also: Norman Mailer’s Moonfire in digital form via Taschen

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Bonus pic:

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/.a/6a00d8341c562c53ef0133ecf2bffd970b-500wi

Eyjafjallajkull + Aurora

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