NASA launches satellite to watch for solar storms
Cape Canaveral: NASA launched a science satellite on Thursday to keep a close watch on the sun and help improve forecasts of the solar storms that can disrupt navigational signals, satellites and power grids.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, lifted off aboard an unmanned Atlas 5 rocket, made by United Launch Alliance, at 10:23 a.m. EST (1523 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, following a one-day delay due to poor weather.
The alliance is a joint venture between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp.
From an orbital perch 22,300 miles above Earth, the solar observatory is to spend the next five to 10 years watching the sun, relaying extremely high-resolution data and live imagery.
With no onboard recorders, NASA is expecting about 1.5 terabytes of data daily from SDO, enough to fill one compact disc about every 36 seconds.
"SDO is going to send us images 10 times better than high definition," project scientist Dean Pesnell said. "The pixel count is comparable to an IMAX movie -- an IMAX filled with the raging sun, 24 hours a day."
Solar physicists expect to use the information to improve predictions of solar flares and geomagnetic storms, which can disrupt GPS navigational signals, disable satellites and knock out power grids. Space weather also affects airlines, which have to reroute flights over Earth`s poles due to radio interference.
"Two or three days` lead time can make the difference between safeguarding the advanced technologies we depend on every day and the catastrophic loss of these capabilities and trillions of dollars in disrupted commerce," Thomas Bogdan, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration`s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement.
"The goal is to develop a real physical understanding of what goes on so we can make more sophisticated predictions," added Alan Title, lead scientist for one of SDO`s three instruments.
NASA, which is spending about $858 million on the mission, also plans to use SDO`s data in an iPhone application called "3D Sun" which will display continuous three-dimensional views of the sun.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- BBV: What challenges lie ahead of Modi govt?
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- DNA analysis of rising water crisis in India!
- DNA: Delhi shop owners express their plight through Zee initiative 'My News'
- Watch: Zee Media mega survey on Modi govt- Part 2
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- Heatwave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- Check cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 10 Result 2015
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt
- PMO website revamped, now send e-mail to PM Modi directly
- Death toll climbs to over 1400 as intense heatwave continues in India
- First look: Aamir Khan joins Shah Rukh to promote Salman's ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’