Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Iris-Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph

This graphic shows the IRIS observatory with the solar arrays removed. The orange section to the left is the spacecraft bus which includes the spacecraft support structure, the command and data handling system, power distribution system, reaction wheels, X- and S-Band communications systems, Li-Ion battery, magnetic torque rods, and electronics for the sun sensors. The section to the right of the spacecraft includes the instrument optics package and electronics, several components of the attitude control system, and the solar arrays. The instrument includes a 20cm telescope optimized for solar observations which feeds a 5 channel imaging spectrograph. The green section is the telescope assembly, the light blue section is the spectrograph, and the dark blue box is the separate instrument electronics box. Credit: LMSAL, LM ATC

NASA is getting ready to launch a new mission, a mission to observe a largely unexplored region of the solar atmosphere that powers its dynamic million-degree outer atmosphere and drives the solar wind. In late June 2013, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. IRIS will advance our understanding of the interface region, a region in the lower atmosphere of the sun where most of the sun's ultraviolet emissions are generated. Such emissions impact the near-Earth space environment and Earth's climate. See:IRIS: Studying the Energy Flow that Powers the Solar Atmosphere

This image shows the Heliophysics System Observatory (HSO). The HSO utilizes the entire fleet of solar, heliospheric, geospace, and planetary spacecraft as a distributed observatory to discover the larger scale and/or coupled processes at work throughout the complex system that makes up our space environment. The HSO consist of 18 operating missions: Voyager, Geotail, Wind, SOHO, ACE, Cluster, TIMED, RHESSI, TWINS, Hinode, STEREO, THEMIS, AIM, CINDI, IBEX, SDO, ARTEMIS, Van Allen Probes Credit: NASA

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