Solar Wall, 2010
This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory (SAO) as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.
On February 11, 2010, NASA launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory with the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) aboard, the first instrument to observe the Sun at twice the resolution of high-definition television. The AIA consists of four telescopes each with two mirrors coated in a cutting-edge film that reflects a particular wavelength of light—including ultraviolet (UV) and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths, both absorbed by earth’s atmosphere. The telescopes take eight images every twelve seconds, yielding a massive three terabytes of data per day. Because our eyes cannot see UV and EUV, images initially have no color once transmitted to earth—they are just a set of numbers. To create comprehensible images, each number is assigned a color, rendering visually appealing images of solar activity. This wall is a replica of one at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics where astrophysicists use it for studying the sun’s surface and to better understand how solar activities effect life on earth.
It is credited
Courtesy of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
Our curators have highlighted 6 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:
Its dimensions are
H x W: 182.9 x 210.8 cm (6 ft. x 6 ft. 11 in.)
Video display of our sun’s surface from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly aboard NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO); Satellite launch date: February 11, 2010
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.