MessageToEagle.com -A telescope launched July 11 aboard a NASA sounding rocket has captured the
highest-resolution images ever taken of the sun's million-degree atmosphere called the corona.
The clarity of the images can help scientists better understand the behavior of the solar atmosphere and its impacts on Earth's space
"These revolutionary images of the sun demonstrate the key aspects of NASA's sounding rocket program, namely the training of the next generation of principal investigators, the development of new space technologies, and scientific advancements," said Barbara Giles, director for NASA's Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
NASA's High Resolution Coronal Imager, or Hi-C, captured the highest-resolution images ever taken of the sun's corona in the extreme
ultraviolet wavelength. The innovative telescope, launched on a sounding rocket at White Sands Missile Range in
New Mexico July 11, 2012, focused on a large active region on the sun. The resulting images reveal the dynamic
structure of the solar atmosphere in the finest detail ever seen. (NASA)
Launched from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the 58-foot-tall sounding rocket carried NASA's High Resolution
Coronal Imager (Hi-C) telescope. Weighing 464 pounds, the 10-foot-long payload took 165 images during its brief
The telescope focused on a large active region on the sun with some images revealing the dynamic
structure of the solar atmosphere in fine detail. These images were taken in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength.
This higher energy wavelength of light is optimal for viewing the hot solar corona.
"We have an exceptional instrument and launched at the right time," said Jonathan Cirtain, senior heliophysicist
at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "Because of the intense solar activity we're seeing right
now, we were able to clearly focus on a sizeable, active sunspot and achieve our imaging goals."
The telescope acquired data at a rate of roughly one image every 5 seconds. Its resolution is approximately five
times more detailed than the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument flying aboard NASA's Solar Dynamics
For comparison, AIA can see structures on the sun's surface with the clarity of approximately
675 miles and observes the sun in 10 wavelengths of light. Hi-C can resolve features down to roughly 135 miles,
but observed the sun in just one wavelength of light.
The high-resolution images were made possible because of a set of innovations on Hi-C's optics array. Hi-C's mirrors
are approximately 9 1/2 inches across, roughly the same size as the SDO instrument's. The telescope includes some of
the finest mirrors ever made for space-based instrumentation.
The increase in resolution of the images captured by Hi-C is similar to making the transition in television viewing
from a cathode ray tube TV to high definition TV.
NASA's High Resolution Coronal Imager, or Hi-C, captured the highest-resolution images ever taken of the sun's
corona in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength. Shown in green to enhance detail, Hi-C's images reveal detailed tangles
of magnetic field, channeling the solar plasma into a range of complex structures. Hi-C's resolution is five times
more detailed than the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly flying aboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO. AIA
can see structures on the sun's surface with clarity of approximately 675 miles and observes the sun in ten wavelengths
of light. Hi-C observed features down to roughly 135 miles and observed the sun in just one wavelength.
The clarity of the images will help scientists better understand the behavior of the solar atmosphere and its impacts
on Earth's space environment. (NASA)
Initially developed at Marshall, the final mirror configuration was completed with inputs from partners at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, Mass., and a new manufacturing technique developed in coordination with L-3Com/Tinsley Laboratories of Richmond, Calif.
Hi-C: A Detailed View of the Sun
The high-quality optics were aligned to determine the spacing between the optics and the tilt of the mirror with extreme accuracy. Scientists and engineers from Marshall, SAO, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville worked to complete alignment of the mirrors, maintaining optic spacing to within a few ten-thousandths of an inch.
NASA's suborbital sounding rockets provide low-cost means to conduct space science and studies of Earth's upper atmosphere. In addition, they have proven to be a valuable test bed for new technologies for future satellites or probes to other planets.
Launched in February 2010, SDO is an advanced spacecraft studying the sun and its dynamic behavior. The spacecraft provides images with clarity 10 times better than high definition television and provides more comprehensive science data faster than any solar observing spacecraft in history.
Mysteries Of The Sun Explained In Video
Are you curious about the Sun? You now have an excellent chance to learn everything you ever wanted, and even more about our Sun and all its mysteries.
Five new videos called "Mysteries of the Sun" have been just released by NASA.
The videos describe the science of the sun and its effects on the solar system and Earth.
Latest Spectacular Solar Flare Will Hit STEREO-B Spacecraft, Spitzer And Curiosity
The Sun continues to show its more violent side.
A spectacular solar flare erupted from the Sun's northeastern limb yesterday, sending an beautiful arcing jet of super-heated plasma blasting off into space.
The explosion, captured by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory at about 5.45pm yesterday evening, was one of the most beautiful seen in years.
Something New Spotted On The Sun
One day in the fall of 2011, Neil Sheeley, a solar scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., did what he always does –
look through the daily images of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
But on this day he saw something he'd never noticed before: a pattern of cells with bright centers and dark boundaries occurring in the sun's atmosphere, the corona...
Hidden Misshapen Celestial "Wonder"
It is one of the brightest and strangest objects in the Milky Way - the corpse of a star that exploded around 1000 years ago.
Only a handful of such young supernova remnants are known.
The object named G350.1-0.3 is also incredibly small (only eight light years across) and young in astronomical terms.
Mercury Surprises Scientists
On March 17, MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space Environment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) completed its one-year primary mission, orbiting Mercury, capturing nearly 100,000 images, and recording data
that reveals new information about the planet's core, topography, and the mysterious radar bright material in the permanently shadowed areas near the poles.
Living Earth Simulator - Supercomputer Predicting The Future
In Douglas Adams book the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy we encounter a machine called Deep Thought. It is the most powerful computer ever built. Deep Thought is capable of answering questions
concerning life, the Universe, and simply everything. Now scientists are planning to create a similar machine. It is called the Living Earth Simulator (LES).
Alien World That Contributes To The Vision Of Hell
There is a strange alien planet orbiting an orange dwarf star in the constellation Monoceros
bordered by the constellations of Canis Minor, Gemini, Hydra, Lepus, Orion and Puppis and located 490 light years away...
it, is truly beautiful and relaxing!