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NASA tracking sun's surface with Solar Dynamics Observatory

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 02:12

NASA is showcasing high-definition images of the Sun taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in an exhibit at the Goddard Space Flight Center in the U.S. Nathan Frandino reports.

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INTRO: NASA is showcasing high-definition images of the Sun taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in an exhibit at the Goddard Space Flight Center in the U.S. Nathan Frandino reports. STORY: 150 million kilometers from the Sun, humans on Earth are getting a high-definition view of the brightest star in the sky. The images are coming from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, a highly sophisticated telescope in space. SDO collects the images and transmits them to the public via a new installation called the Solarium. Dr. Alex Young at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, says the Solarium brings the Sun to earth in stunning detail. (SOUNDBITE) (English ALEX YOUNG, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR SCIENCE OF HELIOPHYSICS SCIENCE DIVISION, GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, SAYING: "Well the point of the Solarium is really to give people an immersive feel for the scale, the size, and the dynamics and complexity of the Sun." NATS: "Liftoff of the Atlas 5 with the Solar Dynamics Observatory." The mission began in 2010 when NASA sent the SDO deep into space. Once the Observatory deployed, its high speed cameras began taking snapshots of the Sun, recording data that scientists have converted into high definition images. The SDO allows scientists to identify solar events, such as eruptions and plasma loops. (SOUNDBITE) (English ALEX YOUNG, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR SCIENCE OF HELIOPHYSICS SCIENCE DIVISION, GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, SAYING: "There's a gold one and in that particular one you see these giant loops and those are in fact magnetic fields thousands of times stronger than say a fridge magnet and you see super hot gas or plasma that's following along those field lines and lighting them up." With the cameras, scientists hope to learn about the Sun's atmosphere and how solar events, like coronal ejections, can impact Earth. For producer Gena Duderstein the experience for visitors can be enhanced even further with some color adjustments. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENA DUDERSTEIN, LEAD MULTIMEDIA PRODUCER FOR HELIOPHYSICS AT NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER/PRODUCER AND PROJECT MANAGER OF SOLARIUM, SAYING: "I think it really brings together that both art and science are forms of exploration. I think we all could use a break from our busy lives every now and then just to have a moment of awe." A moment of awe that scientists here hope will shine a light for the next generation looking to space.

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NASA tracking sun's surface with Solar Dynamics Observatory

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 02:12