SUMI rocket to study the Sun's magnetic fields

July 2, 2012 By Jennifer Rumburg
Graphic of SUMI instrument. Credit: NASA

(Phys.org) -- On July 5, NASA will launch a sounding rocket mission called the Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation or SUMI, to study the intricate, constantly changing magnetic fields on the sun in a hard-to-observe area of the sun's low atmosphere called the chromosphere.

The primary objective of the SUMI experiment is to test the technologies that have been developed for making magnetic field measurements in the upper chromosphere/ lower transition region. Transition region magnetic field measurements are very important, but the most important Zeeman sensitive lines are in the ultraviolet which are impossible to observe from the Earth. SUMI plans to make exploratory polarization measurements in this region to develop the to analyze and convert our polarization data into vector magnetic field measurements and to use this data in determining the sensitivity requirements for space-based missions.

The inaugural flight of the SUMI instrument occurred on July 30, 2010.

date for this mission is July 5, 2012 from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Explore further: Taking a Shot at the Sun

Related Stories

Taking a Shot at the Sun

August 2, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- This July, for a thrilling eight minutes, NASA researchers will get a peek at one of the sun's most mysterious regions.

NRL refurbishes VAULT2.0 for reflight

October 27, 2011

Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are refurbishing the Very-high Angular resolution ULtraviolet Telescope (VAULT) in preparation for two launches aboard NASA sounding rockets from the Navy's launch complex ...

A new way to measure Earth's magnetosphere

January 4, 2012

US researchers have demonstrated the potential use of a new way to measure properties of Earth's magnetosphere, the magnetic bubble that surrounds the planet.

SDO helps measure magnetic fields on the sun's surface

January 20, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Science nuggets are a collection of early science results, new research techniques, and instrument updates that further our attempt to understand the sun and the dynamic space weather system that surrounds ...

Hi-C to investigate activity in solar atmosphere

June 22, 2012

(Phys.org) -- NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. is leading an international effort to develop and launch the High Resolution Coronal Imager, or Hi-C, on a sounding rocket from the White Sands Missile ...

Recommended for you

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.