NASA to hold live web briefing on the SDO mission to the sun

WUWT readers may want to watch this webcast. From a media advisory – NASA to Hold Briefing on Advanced Mission to Study Our Sun

WASHINGTON — NASA is scheduled to host a briefing at 1 p.m. EST, on Thursday, Jan. 21, to discuss the upcoming launch and science of an unprecedented mission to study the sun and its dynamic behavior. The briefing on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, mission will take place in the NASA Headquarters auditorium, located at 300 E St. S.W. in Washington and at the press site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The briefing participants are:

– Richard Fisher, Heliophysics division director, NASA Headquarters in Washington

– Madhulika Guhathakurta, SDO program scientist, NASA Headquarters

– Dean Pesnell, SDO project scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

– Elizabeth Citrin, SDO project manager, Goddard

The briefing will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s Web site. To watch the briefing on the Web, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Reporters unable to attend the briefing may ask questions by telephone. To reserve a telephone line, journalists should e-mail their name, media affiliation and telephone number to J.D. Harrington at:

j.d.harrington@nasa.gov

NOTE: Due to launch processing schedules, this briefing may move to 2 p.m. EST, Friday, Jan. 22. Media representatives should contact Harrington at 202-358-5241 Thursday morning for an update.

For more information about the SDO mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/sdo

h/t to Lief Svalgaard

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Daniel H
January 20, 2010 11:59 am

It will be interesting to see how well these NASA scientists can dodge the inconvenient truth that the Sun is warming our planet when the mission is ostensibly designed to understand that very phenomenon (among other things). This story should be filed under the “Space Weather is not Space Climate” department.

phlogiston
January 20, 2010 12:04 pm
ajstrata
January 20, 2010 12:23 pm

This mission is not in the can for either side. It is the replacement for SOHO. It will, in the end, probably destroy the global warming canard. We need more SDO’s!

January 20, 2010 12:33 pm

“Four telescope with two passbands each will provide eight full-Sun images every ten seconds, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.”
How will it do that from a geosynchronous orbit above New Mexico?

Mike McMillan
January 20, 2010 12:51 pm

A mission “to” the sun? Gonna land on the night side, I guess.

George Kominiak
January 20, 2010 12:51 pm

Hey Guys!
This one may be well worth watching!! The launch of the SDO can’t come too quickly. Our existing orbital solar observatory, SOHO, has been at work since the mid-1990s. During its lifetime, it’s been through a lot. With the Sun kicking out intense X-ray flares, one can only wonder how much more it can endure.
G.

mojo
January 20, 2010 1:02 pm

Don’t worry. They’re going at night.

January 20, 2010 1:25 pm

Welcome to reality, NASA!
After forty-one years of blind insistence that the Sun is a ball of hydrogen (1969 Apollo Mission to the Moon – present), our space agency finally wants to gather data on Earth’s heat source – the Sun!
This paper has references to many of the experimental observations that NASA has ignored since 1969:
“Earth’s heat source – the Sun”,
Energy and Environment 20 (2009) 131-144
http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo
Emeritus Professor of
Nuclear & Space Studies

January 20, 2010 1:38 pm

Are the launch coordinates in metric, English, or Babylonian units?

JackFlash
January 20, 2010 1:46 pm

tallbloke (12:33:54) :
” ‘Four telescope with two passbands each will provide eight full-Sun images every ten seconds, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.’
How will it do that from a geosynchronous orbit above New Mexico?”
There’s no such thing as a geosynchronous orbit above New Mexico. As TFA says, the ground station will be in New Mexico. To be geostationary, the satellite would be above the equator. Still, you would think that the at least some of the year the satellite would be in eclipse for part of the day.

Andew P.
January 20, 2010 2:16 pm

Mike D. (13:38:41) :
Are the launch coordinates in metric, English, or Babylonian units?

Good point but English? Surely one means imperial? 😉

Galen Haugh
January 20, 2010 2:18 pm

Are they going to apply fudge factors to the sun’s surface temperatures? If I wanted a totally consistent, unvarying heat source, that’s where I’d start.

Konrad
January 20, 2010 2:30 pm

While I can see that putting the satellite in a Clarke orbit will allow continuous data steaming to a dedicated ground station, it cannot give the 24/7 observation time claimed. There will be around 70 min each 24 hours in which the Earth will partially obscure the satellite’s view. Given Murphy’s law, which 70 min will all the exciting flares and CMEs choose to do their thing? Two more satellites would be good.

January 20, 2010 2:35 pm

JackFlash (13:46:48) :
tallbloke (12:33:54) :
” ‘Four telescope with two passbands each will provide eight full-Sun images every ten seconds, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.’
How will it do that from a geosynchronous orbit above New Mexico?”
There’s no such thing as a geosynchronous orbit above New Mexico. As TFA says, the ground station will be in New Mexico. To be geostationary, the satellite would be above the equator. Still, you would think that the at least some of the year the satellite would be in eclipse for part of the day.

Apparently, it is not quite geosynchronous, as the orbit plane is inclined to the equator plane.
Looks like it will describe a figure 8 over the Pacific, some ~28 degrees north and south of the equator.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/3635846225/
So I guess it is possible that it will never be eclipsed.
… No, t will be eclipsed it seems:
http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission/project/specs.php
The disadvantges of this orbit include higher launch and orbit acquisition costs (relative to LEO) and eclipse (Earth shadow) seasons twice annually, During these 2-3 week eclipse periods, SDO will experience a daily interruption of solar observations. There will also be three lunar shadow events each year from this orbit.

January 20, 2010 2:45 pm

Neat. For those not aware, Extreme Ultraviolet (EU) light, which this satellite is studying, is the only solar property that has better correlation to clouds than cosmic rays do.
It’ll be interesting to see what this satellite tells us.
More on EU can be found here: http://www.esa-spaceweather.net/spweather/workshops/eswwII/proc/Session2/ESTECsww_20051.pdf

Konrad
January 20, 2010 2:59 pm

I stand corrected. An “inclined geosynchronous orbit” would mean that the periods of partial eclipse would be very minimal. One satellite would be enough.

January 20, 2010 3:14 pm

P.S. Here’s a bit more detailed version of on the role of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR), Extreme Ultraviolet (EU) radiation and other solar factors on Earth’s weather. This paper is something of a prototype for forming a model on the Sun’s role on Earth’s weather.
http://www.space.dtu.dk/upload/institutter/space/forskning/06_projekter/isac/wp_700.pdf

January 20, 2010 3:24 pm

@ Oliver K. Manuel
[ironic]
Sun as heat source ?
Didn’t you read the papers ?
We burn fossils,
that has an warming effect to our environnement, and it’s a source of 0=C=0, a “adsorber” for IR radiation in the sky. These warm molecules heat the earth.
[/ironic]
Thanks for your elaboration !

Stan Needham
January 20, 2010 4:22 pm

A mission “to” the sun? Gonna land on the night side, I guess.
Well, Mike, you can tell from the photo that the sun is much less intense at night — it only makes sense that the probe could get a lot closer at night — heh. Sorry, Charles, I always wanted to say that.

Robert of Ottawa
January 20, 2010 4:23 pm

I was initially perplexed by the description of the orbit and the 24 hour data gathering. I find that it is in a geosynchronous orbit with an inclination of 28.5 degrees. Therefore, it can avoid being in eclipse during the night.
It was quite a clever fellow who worked out this orbit 🙂

Robert of Ottawa
January 20, 2010 4:27 pm

Mike D. 13:38:41
The orbit is described in Mega Cubits and arc angels, I believe. 🙂

Michael
January 20, 2010 5:24 pm

And yet, we still have no understanding of the effects of deep solar minimums on our planet like the one we have now. Not a peep about it in the mainstream media news. No sunspots for you MSM.

Larry
January 20, 2010 11:00 pm

Oliver K. Manuel:
I’ve read your paper, all I can say is Wow! And to think, some scientists used to think the sun was made of coal.

Editor
January 20, 2010 11:41 pm

Professor Manuel,
Perhaps you could explain how, if the sun has such a high concentration of Iron and neutrons, that:
a) it doesn’t collapse into a black hole,
and
b) its mass isn’t many times higher, too high for the planets to throw it around the barycentre so easily. A more massive sun should thus be much less tidally disturbed.

JeffK
January 21, 2010 4:10 am

>Robert of Ottawa (16:23:07) :
>
>I was initially perplexed by the description of the orbit and the 24 hour data >gathering. I find that it is in a geosynchronous orbit with an inclination of >28.5 degrees. Therefore, it can avoid being in eclipse during the night.
When a satellite is orbiting around the Earth, solar shadowing cannot be avoided, it is just a matter of how often it occurs. In Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is about half of a 90 min. orbit period. In geostationary/geosynchronous orbit, the shadow (eclipse) season is twice a year (Spring/Fall) for up to abut 90 min. during satellite midnight. You have to get away from Earth orbit to remove any shadow/eclipse events.
Regards,
Jeff

Patrick Davis
January 21, 2010 4:29 am

You’d better tell the Captain we’ve got to launch this satelite as soon as we can. This satelite has to has to image the Sun ASAP.
The Sun? What is it?
It’s a big hot raging ball of gas in space 93million miles away, apparently has no effect on planetary climate in this solar system, but that’s not important right now. The EPA tells us CO2 is killing the planet and we need to tax freedom to hell to fix it.
Oh that’s right! I had lasagne for dinner.

jinki
January 21, 2010 6:07 am

I am very much looking forward to the SDO launch, lets all hope its goes off without a hitch.
Sites like the Layman’s Count will move to another level with the new technology.

January 21, 2010 8:39 pm

1. Quote: Larry (23:00:40) :
“Oliver K. Manuel:
I’ve read your paper, all I can say is Wow! And to think, some scientists used to think the sun was made of coal.”
Larry,
If the spotlight of public attention continues to melt the Climategate iceberg, decades of data distortion and manipulation will be revealed in NASA and in NAS (the National Academy of Sciences).
The H-bomb convinced many scientists, including the late Sir Fred Hoyle and Sir Eddington, that the interior of the Sun is not iron (Fe) as they thought earlier*, but mostly Hydrogen like the solar surface.
*See: “Why the model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun is obsolete,”
http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0410569v1
I recommend that you also study the helioseismology studies of Dr. Carl Rouse, an honest and hardworking PhD astrophysics from Caltech.
Here is Dr. Rouse: http://tinyurl.com/y9o99y9
Dr. Rouse and my research group independently concluded that the interior of the Sun is iron rich, but NAS successfully diverted the attention of other scientists away from this empirical fact.
2. Quote: mikelorrey (23:41:37) :
“Professor Manuel,
Perhaps you could explain how, if the sun has such a high concentration of Iron and neutrons, that:
a) it doesn’t collapse into a black hole, and
b) its mass isn’t many times higher, too high for the planets to throw it around the barycentre so easily. A more massive sun should thus be much less tidally disturbed.”
Mike,
Please go back and read the paper and study the figures in “Earth’s heat source – the Sun”, Energy and Environment 20 (2009) 131-144
http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704
If you still have questions, post them on:
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/what-is-the-solar-planetary-theory/
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel

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