Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sun Observation Project

I've finally figured out how to access the raw (well, Level 1.5) image data from the SDO and I'm very excited about this.  I've been wanting to do "something" with the sun and the only way was to have access to the actual data rather than silly jpeg's and aminations.

I still have much to do, but I wanted to post some pictures of some image sequences of a "flash" or what I'm calling a "lightning bolt" that took place last night (local time for me) for a few minutes.  These are the kinds of things I'm interested in studying to get a feel for them and look for patterns of behavior.

The image frames you'll see below are all organized according to time, and they read from left to right, top to bottom.  There are sixteen images per frame three minutes apart, going from 02:00 UTC (upper left) to 02:45 UTC (lower right) on 19 Feb 2014.

There are a total of four frames here, representing four different wavelengths: 94A, 131A, 171A, and 1600A.  There are a total of nine different wavelengths but I limited this quick look to these four.  I want to make a plot of the intensity of this flash as a function of time for each wavelength, but I need to write some additional software to do this.  Today's task was to start understanding the kinds of scripts I need to create (actually, programs to write the scripts for me) in order to access the data and get it in a usable form.

Notice how the flash dims over time, but differently for each wavelength.

In any case, here are the image frames.  I've put some false coloring on them instead of leaving them grayscale to bring out some of the background features -- all of which are very interesting and changing in practically every image.

I will continue to look at all of this data.  There's a lot to look at and it's always being updated every three minutes!

One more thing, a 3 by 3 pixel area in these images corresponds to the size of the North America (24,709,000 km2).  These images are 1820 times that size!!!!!




All images courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.

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