SUMI rocket to study the Sun's magnetic fields

July 2, 2012 By Jennifer Rumburg, NASA
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.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

Recommended for you

New research challenges existing models of black holes

January 19, 2018

Chris Packham, associate professor of physics and astronomy at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has collaborated on a new study that expands the scientific community's understanding of black holes in our galaxy ...

Neutron-star merger yields new puzzle for astrophysicists

January 18, 2018

The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten - much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million ...

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

January 18, 2018

Dust is everywhere—not just in your attic or under your bed, but also in outer space. To astronomers, dust can be a nuisance by blocking the light of distant stars, or it can be a tool to study the history of our universe, ...

New technique for finding life on Mars

January 18, 2018

Researchers demonstrate for the first time the potential of existing technology to directly detect and characterize life on Mars and other planets. The study, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, used miniaturized scientific ...

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.