This is what an artist thinks NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) looks like in orbit around Earth.
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Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is a satellite which studies the Sun. SDO carries several telescopes and other instruments for observing the Sun. The instruments on SDO take much better pictures than instruments on earlier orbiting solar observatories did. SDO was launched in February 2010. It will study the Sun for 5 years as part of NASA's Living With a Star program.
SDO carries three instruments: HMI, EVE, and AIA. The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) studies the Sun's interior and the Sun's magnetic field. The Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) monitors changes in the total amount of ultraviolet radiation coming from the Sun. UV rays from the Sun have a strong influence on Earth's upper atmosphere. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) take really nice pictures of the Sun at various UV wavelengths.
SDO takes pictures of the Sun much more often than earlier orbiting observatories did. It also takes pictures with much higher resolution. These improvements combine to give scientists a much better look at the Sun.
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