Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Small Rocket to Study Sun's Magnetic Fields

NASA launching small rocket to study sun's atmosphere Thursday

Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 10:46 AM     Updated: Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 11:26 AM
solar eruptionView full size 
 SUMI'™s instruments are designed to study magnetic fields of the sun'™s chromosphere -- a thin layer of solar atmosphere sandwiched between the visible surface, photosphere and its atmosphere, the corona. Hinode, a collaborative mission of the space agencies of Japan, the United States, United Kingdom and Europe, captured these very dynamic pictures of our sun's chromosphere on Jan. 12, 2007 (NASA)
WHITE SANDS, New Mexico --  NASA plans to launch a small sounding rocket here Thursday to study magnetic fields on the sun in an area called the chromosphere. Jonathan Cirtain, a solar scientist at Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center, is the principal investigator on the Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation or SUMI mission.

Magnetic fields are central to the sun's huge explosions such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections. There are instruments on the ground and in space to measure these fields, but a sounding rocket will see a layer they can't see.
MORE: http://blog.al.com/space-news/2012/07/nasa_launching_small_rocket_to.html


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