Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Selects Stanford Team To Design And Direct Major Solar Experiment For 2007 Launch

Date:
August 26, 2002
Source:
Stanford University
Summary:
NASA has selected a team of astrophysicists at Stanford University to design and oversee the primary experiment aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – a new research satellite scheduled for launch in August 2007. According to NASA officials, part of SDO's mission is to learn how to predict destructive flares and solar storms generated by the Sun's mysterious magnetic fields.

NASA has selected a team of astrophysicists at Stanford University to design and oversee the primary experiment aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – a new research satellite scheduled for launch in August 2007. According to NASA officials, part of SDO's mission is to learn how to predict destructive flares and solar storms generated by the Sun's mysterious magnetic fields. The satellite will be designed to remain in geosynchronous orbit 22,000 miles above Earth for at least five years, providing a constant stream of data about the complex magnetic fields generated deep in the solar interior.

"SDO's inclined orbit will form a figure-8 over the Earth during the day, giving us continuous, 24-hour-a-day sunlight for most of the year," said Stanford physics Professor Philip H. Scherrer, principal investigator of SDO's lead experiment called the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI).

Scherrer and his Stanford colleagues will oversee construction of the HMI instrument in collaboration with engineers at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif. The instrument will be designed to generate three-dimensional pictures of the solar interior using a technique known as "helioseismology," which maps the inside of the Sun by measuring the velocity of low-frequency sound waves that ricochet below the surface.

Scherrer is currently principal investigator of a similar Stanford-based experiment called the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) now on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) – a satellite jointly operated by NASA and the European Space Agency. Launched aboard SOHO in 1995, MDI has given scientists their first glimpse of the powerful subsurface flows that produce sunspots and solar flares. According to Scherrer, the HMI instrument aboard SDO will allow researchers to create 3-D images of solar magnetic regions and surface magnetic fields in much greater detail.

MDI and the other experiments aboard SOHO are expected to continue until the new SDO spacecraft comes online in 2007. SDO is the first mission in NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) program – a long-range project designed to study the dynamics that drive the intricate Earth-Sun system.

"The Sun is a magnetic star, and we live in its extended atmosphere" Scherrer noted. "High-speed solar winds, mass ejections and flares are all linked to the variability of magnetic fields that originate in the solar interior. Many of these phenomena can have profound impacts on our technological society – disrupting radio communications and causing power outages. A driving purpose of LWS is to understand enough about the Sun's magnetic variability so that we can predict when these events will affect Earth."

In addition to HMI, the SDO spacecraft will carry two related experiments to be led by scientists at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. According to NASA officials, the total cost of SDO's payload from development through five years of operation will be about $123 million -- of which $65 million is budgeted for HMI.

###

Relevant Web URLs:

http://lws.gsfc.nasa.gov

http://sun.Stanford.edu

http://hmi.stanford.edu/proposal_April_2002/HMI_view_proposal_public.pdf


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stanford University. "NASA Selects Stanford Team To Design And Direct Major Solar Experiment For 2007 Launch." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020826070938.htm>.
Stanford University. (2002, August 26). NASA Selects Stanford Team To Design And Direct Major Solar Experiment For 2007 Launch. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020826070938.htm
Stanford University. "NASA Selects Stanford Team To Design And Direct Major Solar Experiment For 2007 Launch." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020826070938.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

NASA (Aug. 15, 2014) Carbon Observatory’s First Data, ATV-5 Delivers Cargo, Cygnus Departs Station and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins