GOES-O Releases First Solar Image

Aug 18, 2009
First formal Solar Image from the Solar X-Ray Imager. Credit: NOAA/NASA

GOES-14, formerly GOES-O, has achieved another significant milestone with the release of the first formal Solar Image from the Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI).

The engineering and operations team has finished its initial instrument calibration and alignments and produced the image of the on August 13, 2009 at approximately 10:05 EDT. The SXI instrument is built by Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California.

The instrument and the spacecraft continue to operate normally as NASA continues the post launch testing.

The SXI is essentially a soft X-ray telescope that is used to monitor solar conditions and activity. Every minute the SXI captures an image of the sun's atmosphere in , providing space weather forecasters with the necessary information in order to determine when to issue forecasts and alerts of conditions that may harm space and ground systems.

More information: For more information about GOES-O, visit: www.nasa.gov/goes-o

Provided by JPL/ (news : web)

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User comments : 3

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Ant
not rated yet Aug 18, 2009
funny how this image isnt symetrical looks like the sun is breaking into two portions
Uri
4 / 5 (2) Aug 19, 2009
To me it looked like the sun was titled on its axis. According to
http://idialstars.com/fipl.htm

The sun is titled on its axis by 7.5 degrees and its north pole will be most tilted towards us in early September. That may still not explain the image but I thought it was interesting.
yyz
5 / 5 (2) Aug 19, 2009
These 'dark' ares on the sun's disk are due to coronal holes. According to Wikipedia "Coronal holes are areas where the Sun's corona is darker, colder, and has lower-density plasma than average. These were found when X-ray telescopes in the Skylab mission were flown above the earth's atmosphere to reveal the structure of the corona. Coronal holes are linked to unipolar concentrations of open magnetic field lines."

"During solar minimum, coronal holes are mainly found at the Sun's polar regions, but they can be located anywhere on the sun during solar maximum."

And, of course, the Sun is now at the solar minimum stage of its cycle.