Tropical Cyclone Glenda in the Indian Ocean da NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Tropical Cyclone Glenda took a five day tour of the Southern Indian Ocean in late February, 2015. The storm formed from a low pressure system, System 90S on February 24, when maximum sustained winds reached 40 mph (64 km/h). The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of Tropical Storm Glenda on February 25 at 08:55 UTC (3:55 a.m. EST). At that time bands of thunderstorms wrapped into the low-level center of circulation. An eye was beginning to form. At 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST) on February 25, Glenda’s maximum sustained winds were near 63.2 mph (102 km/h). It was centered near 17.6 south latitude and 69.1 east longitude, about 760 miles (1,224 km) south-southwest of Diego Garcia. Glenda was moving to the west-southwest at 8 mph (13 km/h). At that time, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Glenda to strengthen to near 109 mph (176 km/h) before beginning to weaken. However, strong wind shear began to affect the storm. By the afternoon of February 26 Tropical Cyclone Glenda’s winds had dropped to about 58 mph (93 km/h), and by February 28 the storm had transitioned to an extra-tropical storm. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

Solar Eruptions - A Coronal Mass Ejection 

The swirling inner layers of our sun cause charged particles to generate magnetic fields. As charges accumulate on the surface, magnetic field lines readjust themselves and release huge quantities of matter and electromagnetic radiation into space. This particular Mass Ejection is traveling at over 900 miles per second and has an energy level equivalent to 160,000,000,000 megatons of TNT. 

Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory/Goddard Spaceflight Center


Sun Primer : Why NASA Scientists Observe the Sun in Different Wavelengths.

[The first image is a collage of solar images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) that shows how observations of the sun in different wavelengths helps highlight different aspects of the sun’s surface and atmosphere. The second image shows each of the wavelengths observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) that was chosen to emphasize a specific aspect of the sun’s surface or atmosphere Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard Space Flight Center]

Taking a photo of the sun with a standard camera will provide a familiar image: a yellowish, featureless disk, perhaps colored a bit more red when near the horizon since the light must travel through more of Earth’s atmosphere and consequently loses blue wavelengths before getting to the camera’s lens. The sun, in fact, emits light in all colors, but since yellow is the brightest wavelength from the sun, that is the color we see with our naked eye — which the camera represents, since one should never look directly at the sun. When all the visible colors are summed together, scientists call this “white light.”

Specialized instruments, either in ground-based or space-based telescopes, however, can observe light far beyond the ranges visible to the naked eye. Different wavelengths convey information about different components of the sun’s surface and atmosphere, so scientists use them to paint a full picture of our constantly changing and varying star. 

Yellow light of 5800 Angstroms, for example, generally emanates from material of about 10,000 degrees F (5700 degrees C), which represents the surface of the sun. Extreme ultraviolet light of 94 Angstroms, on the other hand, comes from atoms that are about 11 million degrees F (6,300,000 degrees C) and is a good wavelength for looking at solar flares, which can reach such high temperatures. By examining pictures of the sun in a variety of wavelengths – as is done through such telescopes as NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) — scientists can track how particles and heat move through the sun’s atmosphere.”

Read more here, and learn more about all the different wavelengths here.

Spotlight on Webb Telescope test

Dressed in a clean room suit, NASA photographer Desiree Stover shines a light on the Space Environment Simulator’s Integration Frame inside the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Shortly after, the chamber was closed up and engineers used this frame to enclose and help cryogenic (cold) test the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module.

Image source: NASA