Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Solar Dynamics Observatory

The SDO and Atlas V rocket.
Image above: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with its Solar Dynamics Observatory payload is moved to the launch pad Tuesday in preparation for liftoff. › View Larger Image
Solar Dynamics Observatory at Launch Pad
The Solar Dynamics Observatory and its Atlas V rocket rolled out to the launch pad at Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Tuesday morning move sets the stage for a liftoff Wednesday at 10:26 a.m. EST.
Weather for launch day stands at 40 percent "go" at liftoff time due to wind, cloud thickness and a slight chance of showers. The temperature at launch time is expected to be a chilly 51 degrees.
Live coverage of the launch will begin at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday on NASA TV and NASA's Launch Blog.
SDO's unprecedented mission will study the sun and its dynamic behavior. Onboard telescopes will scrutinize sunspots and solar flares using more pixels and colors than any other observatory in the history of solar physics. And SDO will reveal the sun’s hidden secrets in a prodigious rush of pictures.
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