How big is big? (February 22, 2008)
Hi-res TIF image (2.6M)
This graphic suggests how we can take a closer look at the image sizes that can be obtained by three major solar missions, from SOHO to STEREO, and then to SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory). We can begin to understand the substantial increase in detail that each of the future mission brings to solar physicists. Back in 1995, SOHO launched with a digital imaging capability of 1024 x 1024 pixels, considered outstanding at the time. STEREO, which launched in 2006, had twice the imaging area of SOHO at 2048 x 2048 pixels, a major advance in resolution that allows scientists to see much greater detail in the Sun's features and their structures. And now we can look forward to even greater advance with SDO (to launch in late 2008 or early 2009). Its resolution weighs in at 4096 x 4096, a "super HD" image that is four times the resolution of SOHO. Many people are very excited at the potential for learning about the Sun through the level of detail that these new images will reveal for the first time.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.