Wednesday, January 23, 2013

See The Sun As Never Seen Before In New Super High Def



Ultra high-definition TVs – sold for the first time in late 2012 and early 2013 -- have four times the pixels of a current high-definition TV, but still have fewer pixels than the images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). This image from SDO was captured on Nov.13, 2012, and shows a star-shaped solar flare in the lower left-hand corner.
Ultra high-definition TVs – sold for the first time in late 2012 and early 2013 –have four times the pixels of a current high-definition TV, but still have fewer pixels than the images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Credit: NASA/SDO › View larger › For Higher Resolution Imagery

A new kind of television made headlines at the 2013 annual Consumer Electronics Show in early January, 2013 -- Ultra High Definition TV. With four times as many pixels as a current high definition (HD) TV, viewers at the show reported being impressed with how crisp and vibrant the pictures appear.

This comes as no surprise to scientists who study the sun using NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Its Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) instruments together capture an image almost once a second that is twice again as large as what the ultra high-def screens can display. Such detailed pictures show features on the sun that are as small as 200 miles across, helping researchers observe such things as what causes giant eruptions on the sun known as coronal mass ejections (CME) that can travel toward Earth and interfere with our satellites.

The Hi-resolution Coronal Imager full resolution image shown here is from the solar active region outlined in the AIA image (upper left). Several partial frame images are shown including a potion of a filament channel (upper center/right), the braided ensemble (left, second from top), an example of magnetic recognition and flaring (left, third from top), and fine stranded loops (left, bottom). These Hi-C images are at a resolution of 0.2" or 90 miles. This resolution is the equivalent of resolving a dime from 10 miles away. 
Image credit: NASA

One concern about the new TVs? There's not yet enough content to make use of the opulent amount of pixels available. SDO can help with that. As of December, 2012, the telescope had captured 100 million images, which -- if watched at a standard video rate of 30 frames per second -- would mean a viewer could watch eight hours of sun movies a day for almost four months.

The Sounding Rockets Program Office (SRPO), located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility, provides suborbital launch vehicles, payload development, and field operations support to NASA and other government agencies. SRPO works closely with the Sounding Rocket User Community to provide launch opportunities facilitating a broad spectrum of science applications. This video presents an overview of the NASA sounding rocket program and as well as footage of the final preparations and launch of the Hi-C.
Credit: Wallops Flight Facility, Marshall Space Flight Center, and White Sands Missile Range

The High resolution Coronal Imager (Hi-C) was launched on a NASA Black Brant IX two-stage rocket from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico July 11, 2012. The experiment reached a maximum velocity of Mach 7 and max altitude of 264 km. The experiment collected 345 seconds of EUV science images.
Credit: NASA

The movie starts with the full sun AIA images taken during the Hi-C flight and zooms into the Hi-C field of full field of view. Comparisons of the Hi-C data, show in the panel on the right, are compared to data taken by AIA, shown on left. Hi-C is five times higher spatial resolution than AIA and the cadence of the Hi-C observations is 5 seconds.
Credit: NASA

This braided loop has several loops near the 'base' that appear to be unwinding with significant apparent outflow. This is evidence of untwisting, and the braided structure also seeming to unwind with time. 
Credit: NASA
 
The sun's hot outer atmosphere, as viewed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) onboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The movie shows one month of observations ending on the day of the Hi-C rocket flight, from June 11 through July 11, 2012. The images are taken in the extreme ultraviolet, invisible to the human eye, and observable only in the vacuum of space with special instruments. The false color images reveal the dynamics of the sun's atmosphere, shaped by magnetism and electricity, with large explosions over sunspot regions amid periods of more gradual evolution. Blue regions are coolest around one million degrees, while red regions are hottest above about three million degrees. The AIA instrument was built, and is being operated by, the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center under contract with NASA's Living With a Star Program. 
Credit: Karel Schrijver, AIA principal investigator 

The sun's hot outer atmosphere, as viewed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) onboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The movie shows one month of observations ending on the day of the Hi-C rocket flight, from June 11 through July 11, 2012. The images are taken in the extreme ultraviolet, invisible to the human eye, and observable only in the vacuum of space with special instruments. The false color images reveal the dynamics of the sun's atmosphere, shaped by magnetism and electricity, with large explosions over sunspot regions amid periods of more gradual evolution. Blue regions are coolest around one million degrees, while red regions are hottest above about three million degrees. The AIA instrument was built, and is being operated by, the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center under contract with NASA's Living With a Star Program. 
Credit: Karel Schrijver, AIA principal investigator

For HD imagery from NASA's SDO mission, visit:
www.nasa.gov/sdo

Karen C. Fox
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u...



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