The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has gone live, after months of moving into a geosynchronous orbit. Today, NASA scientists revealed "first light" images taken by the telescope.
Let me introduce you, folks, to our very own star, the Sun (Latin: Sol). It is much more spectacular than you've ever imagined.
"With SDO looking on, decaying sunspot 1060 unleashed a minor "B3-class" solar flare. A shock wave issued from the blast site and raced across the surface of the sun (movie). SDO images clearly show magnetic loops and other structures rocking back and forth when the wave passes over them. Eventually, the wave disappeared over the sun's horizon--but the show wasn't over. Four hours after the initial blast, and some 200,000 km away, a massive prominence erupted (image)."
- First Light for the Solar Dynamics Observatory - NASA Science (view on Google Sidewiki)