On May 5, 2017, scientists will launch a sounding rocket 200 miles up into the atmosphere, where in just five minutes, it will take 1,500 images of the sun. The NASA-funded RAISE mission is designed to scrutinize split-second changes occurring near the sun's active regions -- areas of intense, complex magnetic activity that can give rise to solar flares, which eject energy and solar material out into space.
Several missions continuously study the sun -- such as NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO -- but certain areas of the sun demand especially high-cadence observations in order to understand the rapid changes occurring there. That's where RAISE -- short for Rapid Acquisition Imaging Spectrograph Experiment -- comes in.
"Dynamic processes happen on all timescales," said Don Hassler, principal investigator for the RAISE mission at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "With RAISE, we'll read out an image every two-tenths of a second, so we can study very fast processes and changes on the sun. That's around five to 10 times faster than comparable instruments on other sounding rocket or satellite missions."
RAISE images are used to create a data product called a spectrogram, which separates light from the sun into all its different wavelength components. By looking at the intensity of light at each wavelength, scientists can assess how solar material and energy moves around the sun, and how that movement evolves into massive solar eruptions.
"RAISE is pushing the limits of high-cadence observations, and doing so is challenging," Hassler said. "But that's exactly what the NASA sounding rocket program is for."
The flight of a sounding rocket is short-lived, and has a parabolic trajectory -- the shape of a frown. Most sounding rocket flights last for 15 to 20 minutes, and just five to six of those minutes are spent making observations from above the atmosphere, observations that can only be done in space. In RAISE's case, the extreme ultraviolet light the instruments observe can't penetrate Earth's atmosphere. After the flight, the payload parachutes to the ground, where it can be recovered for use again.
This will be the RAISE mission's third flight, and the scientists have continuously updated its technology. For the upcoming flight, they have refurbished the detectors and updated the flight software, and the payload carries a new diffraction grating, which reflects light and separates it into its separate wavelengths.
The launch window for RAISE opens at 2:25 p.m. EDT at the White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The precise timing of the launch depends on weather conditions, and coordinated timing with other space observatories such as NASA's SDO and IRIS, as well as the joint Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency/NASA's Hinode.
RAISE is supported by NASA's Sounding Rocket Program at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. NASA's Heliophysics Division manages the Sounding Rocket Program.
Lina Tran | EurekAlert!
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing
21.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows
21.11.2017 | US Geological Survey
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Life Sciences