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Solar Dynamics Observatory

"SDO is working beautifully.. this is even better than we could have dreamed." Project Scientist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center.

About SDO

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellite was launched at UCLan in February 2010. SDO is the first mission of the Living with a Star (LWS) NASA program to be in operation. UCLan SDO is dedicated to the study of the solar atmosphere focusing on the coupling between the magnetic field and the plasma, and the impact of the solar activity on the Earth's atmosphere.

UCLan is one of the European data centres for SDO and the only one in the UK to provide a rolling database for two SDO instruments in near-real-time: the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI). The development of the database is supported by the Learning and Information Services (LIS) at UCLan.

The Solar Group at UCLan is working on several topics to understand fundamental solar and plasma physics problems:

  • Coronal heating of active region loops.
  • Flux emergence of active regions and their coronal consequences.
  • Magnetohydrodynamic waves in the solar atmosphere.
  • Small scale eruptive events such as blinkers.
  • Coronal holes.
  • Flares and CMEs, magnetic structures and energetic particles.

The SDO UCLan database contains about five months worth of SDO/AIA and SDO/HMI data. We have subscribed to the following data series (Level 1) at full cadence:

SDO/AIA: aia.lev1 series (all 10 wavelengths, full cadence of 12s, rice compression)

SDO/HMI: hmi.M_45s (line of sight magnetogram), hmi.Ic_45s (continuum intensity), hmi.V_45s (Dopplergrams), hmi.Lw_45s (line width), hmi.Ld_45s (line depth)

The UCLan SDO database is now accessible through the SSW IDL using the VSO commands (see guidance below). However, the system can still encounter some downtime for maintenance: Questions regarding the database and the SDO data

Examples of query to the UCLan database: Searching the database: IDL> s = VSO_SEARCH('2011-01-01 00:00:00', '2011-01-01 02:00:00', sample=300, site='UCLAN', instr='aia')

Getting the data: IDL> status = VSO_GET(s, site='UCLAN', /rice)

The Solar Group at UCLan is involved with public outreach activities and organises events for schools and teachers.

View further information on our schools and colleges page.

Here are some useful links to access, analyse or view SDO data and science as well as Solar Physics links.

SDO Instrument links

SDO database links

View our YouTube channel for our movie gallery.