Ultra high-definition TVs – sold for the first time in late 2012 and early 2013 — have four times the pixels of a current high-definition TV, but still have fewer pixels than the images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). This image from SDO was captured on Nov.13, 2012, and shows a star-shaped solar flare in the lower left-hand corner.
A new kind of television made headlines at the 2013 annual Consumer Electronics Show in early January, 2013 — Ultra High Definition TV. With four times as many pixels as a current high definition (HD) TV, viewers at the show reported being impressed with how crisp and vibrant the pictures appear.
This comes as no surprise to scientists who study the sun using NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Its Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) instruments together capture an image almost once a second that is twice again as large as what the ultra high-def screens can display. Such detailed pictures show features on the sun that are as small as 200 miles across, helping researchers observe such things as what causes giant eruptions on the sun known as coronal mass ejections (CME) that can travel toward Earth and interfere with our satellites.
The Hi-resolution Coronal Imager full resolution image shown here is from the solar active region outlined in the AIA image (upper left). Several partial frame images are shown including a potion of a filament channel (upper center/right), the braided ensemble (left, second from top), an example of magnetic recognition and flaring (left, third from top), and fine stranded loops (left, bottom). These Hi-C images are at a resolution of 0.2″ or 90 miles. This resolution is the equivalent of resolving a dime from 10 miles away.
Image credit: NASA
One concern about the new TVs? There’s not yet enough content to make use of the opulent amount of pixels available. SDO can help with that. As of December, 2012, the telescope had captured 100 million images, which — if watched at a standard video rate of 30 frames per second — would mean a viewer could watch eight hours of sun movies a day for almost four months.
The Sounding Rockets Program Office (SRPO), located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility, provides suborbital launch vehicles, payload development, and field operations support to NASA and other government agencies. SRPO works closely with the Sounding Rocket User Community to provide launch opportunities facilitating a broad spectrum of science applications. This video presents an overview of the NASA sounding rocket program and as well as footage of the final preparations and launch of the Hi-C.
Credit: Wallops Flight Facility, Marshall Space Flight Center, and White Sands Missile Range
The High resolution Coronal Imager (Hi-C) was launched on a NASA Black Brant IX two-stage rocket from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico July 11, 2012. The experiment reached a maximum velocity of Mach 7 and max altitude of 264 km. The experiment collected 345 seconds of EUV science images.
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