This is one of the first images sent to Earth from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) last week. The SDO satellite collects data and images of the sun, producing enough material to fill a CD every 36 seconds.
Most satellites share ground stations, but because of the monster processing power needed to store all this data, the SDO has one all to itself. Located in New Mexico, the ground station is in constant communication with the satellite. The satellite is in geosynchronous orbit, which means it rotates at the same speed as Earth and is always directly above the ground station.
In its voyage of five years, the SDO hopes to understand how and why the sun’s magnetic field changes. From that they hope to predict the solar winds near Earth, which can have drastic effects on technology. They might also learn to forecast the weather in space, potentially lifesaving for astronauts.
The images it has received so far are stunning. Even if the SDO doesn’t unveil all the mysteries of the sun, the mission will not be a failure. Click through for more images from the SDO.
How do they get that amount of data back from the satellite that’s a lot of 1s and 0s to send along way.
700mb every 36seconds is pretty good but the original street view photo cars filled a terabyte hard drive every 4 minutes.
That’s a phenomenal 4.4gb per second. and they found it quicker to post the hard drives to themselves than to upload that data from the vans.
Crazy considering that the satellite is orbiting the earth 35,200km away!
I just read it transfers data at 130megabytes per second that’s 110megabytes faster than the fastest broadband connection I can get at home 🙁
Well I’m impressed anyways
April 28th, 2010 at 8:00 pm
And you call me the geek 🙂
April 28th, 2010 at 8:10 pm
@Captain Skellett, Yep I do
April 29th, 2010 at 11:09 am
You just became my 300th comment, congratulations I’ll bake you a cake.