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13.2.10


http://hsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/spb/images/hessi1a.jpgHigh winds forced US space agency NASA to cancel the planned launch of a solar probe
Wednesday.

The countdown for the launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was called off
because the wind load was higher than allowed, NASA said.
An earlier launch was also delayed due to bad weather, and a NASA meteorologist
had cautioned Tuesday that high winds could threaten Wednesday's launch.

The SDO is the "crown jewel" of a fleet of NASA satellites planned to collect more
details about what's going on underneath and above the surface of the sun,
said Michael Luther, a NASA official overseeing the programme.

http://www.spacedaily.com/images/magnetic-field-lines-sun-bg.jpg
Under the Living With a Star programme, scientists said they hope to better predict
the sun's periodic release of billions of tons of matter that can endanger
human life and health, corrode oil pipelines, disrupt communications and cause power
surges.

From earth's orbit, the SDO is to collect data over five years and download 1.5
\terabytes every day, which will be managed by a special receiving centre on earth.

While various elements of the sun have been studied over the years,
the SDO will be the first to present a "comprehensive view" of all the elements.

http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010400/a010441/sdo_teaser_ipod_lg_web.pngThe solar probe will collect 60 images a minute with 10 times the resolution
of high-definition television, 24 hours a day, measuring the sun's extreme
ultraviolet light and mapping its plasma flows and magnetic fields.

Dean Pesnell, a project scientist, said the programme was vital to figuring out how
to predict solar disruptions.

"The sun's magnetic fields are the equivalent of tectonic plates on earth,"
said Alan Title, an astronomer on the project.
When they shift, they are "capable of releasing massive amounts of energy."

Under the normal 11-year cycle of solar disruptions,
also known as sunspots, the SDO's mission will coincide with the next storms
in 2013 or 2014.

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