PICK OF THE WEEK
 
Pick of The Week
 
 

STEREO First Light (December 22, 2006)


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Caption: A mosaic of the extreme ultraviolet images from STEREO's SECCHI/Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope taken on Dec. 4, 2006. These false color images show the sun's atmospheres at a range of different temperatures. Clockwise from top left: 1 million degrees K (171 A) 1.5 million K (195 A), 60,000-80,000 K (304 A), and 2.5 million K (286 A).

It with great pleasure that we offer here the very first images taken by the new STEREO spacecraft. STEREO is a new solar mission with two almost identical spacecraft that will provide the first ever 3-D views of the Sun and solar storms. It was launched on October 25, 2006 and the spacecraft are still getting into their observing positions, one ahead of Earth and one behind. (These images are from the Ahead spacecraft.) So far everything has been progressing along without a hitch as testing continues. The images will be twice the size of SOHO images and will provide full disk images of solar features at an unsurpassed level of detail.

However, SOHO will still be providing certain images and data not available through STEREO (as with the MDI magnetogram image seen below).

Together scientists will be able to work with data from both spacecraft in a collaborative effort. You can read more about the STEREO mission here: http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/.


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Captions:

  • Blue (171 Angstroms) full disk image: The Sun's million degree atmosphere taken on Dec. 4 by STEREO's SECCHI/EUVI telescope. The close-up of the active region is cropped from the full disk image.
  • Blue (171 Angstroms): The Sun's million degree atmosphere taken on Dec. 4 by STEREO's SECCHI/EUVI telescope. Close-up of the active region cropped from the full disk image.
  • Orange (304 Angstroms) full disk: The orange image shows portions of the sun's atmosphere at 60,000 to 80,000 C taken on Dec. 4 by STEREO's SECCHI/EUVI telescope.

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Captions:

  • Green (195 Angstroms) full disk: The Sun in light emitted at 1.5 million degrees C taken on Dec. 4 by STEREO's SECCHI/EUVI telescope.
  • SOHO's full disk magnetogram: Taken Dec. 4, this image shows the magnetic features on the Sun's surface. Taken by SOHO's MDI instrument.
  • The first coronal mass ejection (CME) observed by STEREO. This image was taken on Dec. 9 with STEREO's SECCHI/Cor2 coronagraph. A coronagraph blocks the bright disk of the sun allowing scientists to see the Sun's faint outer atmosphere, the corona. The white circle shows the location of the solar disk. The mass ejection can be seen on the right hand side of the image as outward directed streak ending in a faint ring.

SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.

If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to steele.hill@gsfc.nasa.gov.

 
 

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