Monday, April 23, 2007

NASA Releases 3-D Images of the Sun

An image of the full sun in 3-D. This photo was captured by SECCHI/Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope on March 20, 2007, and combines 4 different wavelengths into one image. Photo courtesy of NASA

NASA describes the program:
"STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) is the third mission in NASA's Solar Terrestrial Probes program (STP). This two-year mission, launched October 2006, will provide a unique and revolutionary view of the Sun-Earth System. The two nearly identical observatories - one ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind - will trace the flow of energy and matter from the Sun to Earth. They will reveal the 3D structure of coronal mass ejections; violent eruptions of matter from the sun that can disrupt satellites and power grids, and help us understand why they happen. STEREO will become a key addition to the fleet of space weather detection satellites by providing more accurate alerts for the arrival time of Earth-directed solar ejections with its unique side-viewing perspective."

3-D images, known as anaglyphs, combine left and right eye images
The 3-D image can be seen with red and cyan 3-D paper glasses.

A close-up of loops in a magnetic active region is shown in this false color image taken on December 4, 2006.
Photo courtesy of NASA

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