Helps NASA to understand the Sun
Norwegian scientists working to predict Solstorm.
Not long ago, new unique images of the Sun were published. Using solar research satellite (SDO), launched by NASA 11 February this year, one could for the first time see pictures of the sun’s surface.
The job is to interpret these images, which are taken every ten seconds, and received by the two researchers at the University of Oslo.
“We create models and make them into so-called artificial observations. They are compared with images of the sun, so we can learn something about how the sun works,” says Viggo Hansteen, astrophysicist at the University of Oslo.
Sweden, the electricity supply due solar storm
The research has a price tag of over 6 billion kroner, and is one of NASA’s major projects in the years ahead. The goal is to understand how solar storms occurs in space, and how to predict them.
“The amount of charged particles that enter the ground at high speed can have harmful effects on satellites and knock out power systems throughout the country. These harmful effects we hope to narrow,” says astrophysicist Mats Carlsson.
Headhunted to NASA
In competition with top research groups across the globe, the two have been headhunted to the NASA project. A great honor, not to mention a feather in the cap for the Norwegian research community.
“It’s incredibly fun. And when you see the first pictures of something you have worked with for several years, and everything works better than we dreamed about, then it is incredibly fun,” says Carlsson.
New project underway
And now they have already started a new research project directed by NASA. In 2012 they launched a new satellite to provide even more accurate images and understanding of the Sun’s mysteries.
“It’s an experiment that will look at a little bit of sun. We shall focus on one part of the atmosphere called the chromosphere. Something that can be a key area for understanding the sun even better, says Hansteen.