NASA's SDO has plenty of content for ultra HD TVs

Jan 14, 2013 by Karen C. Fox
Ultra high-definition TVs – sold for the first time in late 2012 and early 2013 –have four times the pixels of a current high-definition TV, but still have fewer pixels than the images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). This image from SDO was captured on Nov.13, 2012, and shows star-shaped solar flare in the lower left-hand corner. Credit: NASA/SDO

A new kind of television made headlines at the 2013 annual Consumer Electronics Show in early January, 2013 – Ultra High Definition TV. With four times as many pixels as a current high definition (HD) TV, viewers at the show reported being impressed with how crisp and vibrant the pictures appear.

This comes as no surprise to scientists who study the sun using NASA's Solar Dynamics (SDO). Its Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) instruments together capture an image almost once a second that is twice again as large as what the ultra high-def screens can display. Such detailed pictures show features on the sun that are as small as 200 miles across, helping researchers observe such things as what causes giant eruptions on the sun known as coronal (CME) that can travel toward Earth and interfere with our satellites.

One concern about the new TVs? There's not yet enough content to make use of the opulent amount of pixels available. SDO can help with that. As of December, 2012, the telescope had captured 100 million images, which—if watched at a standard video rate of 30 frames per second—would mean a viewer could watch eight hours of sun movies a day for almost four months.

Explore further: Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

More information: For HD imagery from NASA's SDO mission, visit: www.nasa.gov/sdo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Solar Dynamics Observatory goes for a spin

Apr 09, 2012

(Phys.org) -- On April 4, 2012, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) did a 360. It rolled completely around its axis – something it does twice a year. In this movie, the dizzying view looks as if the ...

SDO enters its semiannual eclipse season

Sep 07, 2012

(Phys.org)—Twice a year, for three weeks near the equinox, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) moves into its eclipse season—a time when Earth blocks its view of the sun for a period of time each ...

SDO helps measure magnetic fields on the sun's surface

Jan 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 ...

SDO's crazy-looking Sun due to syzygy

Apr 04, 2011

It looks like something is eating the Sun in recent pictures from the Solar Dynamics Observatory — and in recent SDO videos, the Sun suddenly disappears! What is going on? Could it be aliens, Planet X, ...

Solar minimum; solar maximum

Nov 27, 2012

(Phys.org)—The picture on the left shows a calm sun from Oct. 2010. The right side, from Oct. 2012, shows a much more active and varied solar atmosphere as the sun moves closer to peak solar activity, a ...

Getting Solar Dynamic Observatory into focus

Oct 06, 2012

From Sept. 6 to Sept. 29, 2012, NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) moved into its semi-annual eclipse season, a time when Earth blocks the telescope's view of the sun for a period of time each day. Scientists ...

Recommended for you

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

2 hours ago

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

4 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

7 hours ago

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

Image: Rosetta's Philae lander snaps a selfie

8 hours ago

Philae is awake… and taking pictures! This image, acquired last night with the lander's CIVA (Comet nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyzer) instrument, shows the left and right solar panels of ESA's well-traveled ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.