Update 2022-05-04 18:30
- SOHO and STEREO pipelines have been restored and images will become available on helioviewer as they’re made available to us.
Update 2022-05-04 18:30
Helioviewer will be down on May 2nd between 13:00:00 UTC to 21:00:00 UTC
Services are back up as of 2022-03-23 19:25:00 UTC
Helioviewer Beta lives at https://beta.helioviewer.org
HelioViewer can run in a container!
Due to technical issues, the frequency of AIA and HMI images available via Helioviewer Project clients has been temporarily reduced. We apologize for the inconvenience. Images from all other sources remain at their nominal cadences and frequency of updates.
Helioviewer.org and its API services should be operating nominally. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter any issues.
Helioviewer.org and its API services will be down from about 2021-06-11 12:00 to about 2021-06-14 12:00 Eastern Time. This downtime will allow necessary maintenance to occur. We apologize for the interruption to our services.
All services have been restored. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.
We are working on resolving the issues with screenshot and movie generation as well as SDO image ingestion. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.
We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.
We are aware of the outage and are investigating. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.
We’re currently working on moving our blog and all previous posts from blog.helioviewer.org to this site.
In time, we hope that this page can become a useful resource to consolidate the blog, wiki, and user guide into one location that is easy to find from the github repository.
Helioviewer.org will be down on Wednesday November 13th 2019 for scheduled maintenance. We will attempt to minimize the downtime as much as possible. The server is scheduled to be down from around 1400 UTC (9 am ET) to around 2200 UTC (5 pm ET). We apologize for the interruption to our services.
Over years, the response of detectors can change. This can lead to changes in the images captured by those detectors. This is especially apparent in the AIA 304 channel, where images are much darker now than they once were. For example, here is a relatively recent AIA 304 image of the Sun.
Recent LASCO C2 and C3 images are not available due to issues with the image creation problem. We are aware of the issue and are working on a fix. We apologize for the delay in LASCO C2 and C3 images.
Parker Solar Probe was launched on 12th August, 2018. It will swoop to within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.
Recent LASCO and STEREO images will be delayed by a couple of days while servers are upgraded. We apologize for the interruption to our services.
Helioviewer.org is now fully operational. Users should be able to make movies as normal, and use other features. If you are continuing to experience problems, please try reloading the webpage. If you continue to experience issues, please send an email to email@example.com or post an issue at https://github.com/Helioviewer-Project/helioviewer.org/issues . We apologize for the previous problems with our services.
We are currently diagnosing an issue affecting the main helioviewer.org website. In the mean time, images and movies can be made using the legacy version of helioviewer at
The helioviewer.org server will be brought down for maintenance in the afternoon (EST) of 25th January 2018. Down time is estimated to be on the order of a few minutes. We apologize for the interruption to our services.
The Sun is a dynamic astrophysical object, and it is often easier to understand when looking at how it is changing. This is the idea behind difference images. You take an image of the Sun at one time, and subtract from an image at another time, and look at the difference. The difference image shows you what has changed between one time and another. Traditionally, difference images are shown in grayscale, with lighter values indicating a positive change – something got brighter – and darker values indicating a negative change (something got darker).
Helioviewer Project services (helioviewer.org, api.helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer connections at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center) will be suspended temporarily later today (6 March 2017) for necessary maintenance. The outage is anticipated to start around 4pm Eastern Standard Time. We anticipate that services will be suspended for about 24 hours. Normal service will resume as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
We have added more options when creating a movie. After you have selected the data and area you want you’ll see the new “Advanced Settings” option in the bottom left hand corner of the movie settings dialog:
The transition to using the HTTPS protocol broke Helioviewer’s YouTube sharing capability. We tracked down the source of the bug and have fixed it. YouTube sharing has now been re-enabled. Please let us know if you continue to encounter any problems sharing videos from Helioviewer.org to YouTube.
Helioviewer.org is moving to using HTTPS instead of HTTP. This means that all communications between your browser and helioviewer.org are encrypted. The switch to using HTTPS only will happen on September 30th. An unfortunate side effect of this is that your helioviewer.org movie and screenshot histories will be lost. This is due to security features in your browser, which are explained below.
The Helioviewer Project is pleased to announce that Helioviewer.org 3.1 is now available. This new version of helioviewer.org adds two new features, an event timeline and improved YouTube movie browsing.
The computer that converts most recently acquired LASCO and STEREO observations to images served via the Helioviewer Project suffered a hardware failure on June 6 2016. This means that LASCO and STEREO images from June 6 2016 onwards are currently not available via the Helioviewer Project clients such as helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer. We apologize for the temporary unavailability of these images and any inconvenience it may cause. We hope to have the pipeline that supplies the most recent images up and running again in the next couple of weeks. Images before June 6 2016 are available as normal.
Mercury will transit the disk of the Sun on May 9 from 11:20 to 18:45 UTC. This is a rare event, and it will be observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The last transit observable from the Earth was on November 8, 2006 and the next one won’t be visible until November 11 2019. Remember:
The Helioviewer Project is pleased to announce that Helioviewer.org 3.0 is now available. Try the quick interactive tutorial under the new Help (“?”) button for a quick introduction to the new Helioviewer.org.
We are pleased to announce that it is once again possible to upload movies directly from helioviewer.org to your YouTube account. This feature should work just as it did earlier on this year. If you choose to share your movie with other users of helioviewer.org, a clickable image link to your movie will appear on the right hand side of the helioviewer.org application.
We are pleased to announce the availability of a beta release of helioviewer.org version 3.0. The beta release can be found at http://beta3.helioviewer.org. We are looking for bug reports, suggestions and comments on version 3.
We are pleased to announce that recent images are once again available at helioviewer.org. Data gaps from throughout the year are being filled in.
Colleagues at the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale in France have graciously stepped in to provide Helioviewer services while Helioviewer Project servers are undergoing maintenance.
We continue to experience issues in serving new images. The problem is still being diagnosed. We apologize for the interruption to the normal operation of Helioviewer Project services.
We are experiencing issues in serving new images. The problem is being diagnosed. We apologize for the interruption to the normal operation of Helioviewer Project services.
In the past week, YouTube changed their authentication protocol. The authentication protocol is used by helioviewer.org to allow users to upload movies directly from helioviewer.org to a user’s YouTube account. We are currently working on changing helioviewer.org to take account of the change in Youtube’s authorization protocol. Currently, it is not possible to upload movies directly from helioviewer.org to YouTube.
We are currently experiencing some performance issues with Helioviewer Project clients, helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer. We are working to diagnose the problem and to get our services back to nominal operations as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
A total solar eclipse will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere tomorrow. The Faroe Islands and Svalbard (Norway) are on the eclipse path. The following websites show the path of the eclipse:
We are pleased to report that all Helioviewer Project services should now be operational. Helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer services should now be operating normally. Over the next couple of days we will fill in any gaps in data coverage. Note that users of JHelioviewer who edited their users.properties to user services provided by the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale can either continue using their service, or remove their edits.
Colleagues at the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale in France have graciously stepped in to provide Helioviewer services while Helioviewer Project servers are undergoing maintenance.
We apologize for the continued interruption to Helioviewer Project service. This is due to necessary maintenance of our server systems that requires them to be offline. We will bring services back online as soon as possible. Once again, we apologize for the interruption to Helioviewer Project services.
Helioviewer Project services will be interrupted on Monday 6th October 2014. This is due to scheduled and necessary maintenance. Services will be shut down from approximately 5am EST Monday 6th October 2014. Services are scheduled to resume at approximately 12 noon EST Monday 6th October 2014, or as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the interruption to Helioviewer Project services.
Due to some necessary infrastructure upgrades, users of Helioviewer Project clients will experience an interruption in the availability of AIA images, HMI images, and HEK feature and event data, over the weekend of 27-28 September. We apologize for this interruption. Data from all other instruments should update as normal. Normal service with respect to AIA, HMI and the HEK will be restored as soon as possible.
The Helioviewer Project maintains a set of public APIs with the goal of improving access to solar and
heliospheric datasets to scientists, educators, developers, and the general public. Helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer are two client applications that make use of the Helioviewer API. You can build your own. The API is fully described at our API documentation page. Examples of usage are also provided.
The Helioviewer Project is now on Twitter, @Helioviewer.
Yesterday, many users posted movies of the first X-class flare of 2014:
Comet ISON will shortly appear in images from our suite of Sun-watching instruments available via the Helioviewer Project. It has already been seen in images from the Heliospheric Imager onboard STEREO.
Full Helioviewer Project services originating at NASA – helioviewer.org, JHelioviewer and the Helioviewer API – are now back up and running. Over the next couple of days we will be backfilling in missing data from the period October 1 – 17, 2013. Thanks to our colleagues at the Space Influences Data Center (SIDC) at the Royal Observatory of Belgium for providing Helioviewer services in that period.
Our colleagues at the Space Influences Data Center (SIDC) at the Royal Observatory of Belgium have kindly brought a Helioviewer server online at http://swhv.oma.be/helioviewer/. The webpage provides AIA 171 and 304 images taken once every 10 minutes. PROBA2-SWAP images (at full cadence) are also provided.
All Helioviewer services (helioviewer.org, JHelioviewer and any use of the API) will cease temporarily in the next few hours. Users of helioviewer.org will be re-directed to notice.usa.gov. Users of JHelioviewer will not be able to stream movies from the main Helioviewer server. Users of the API will not receive any data from their requests.
We are currently experiencing some issues in the pipeline that brings SDO AIA and HMI data to Helioviewer.org. The problem is being diagnosed and the latest images should be available shortly. We apologize for this delay in bringing you the latest images of the Sun.
In response to user feedback, the Earth scale tool (located in the bottom left hand corner of the viewer window) has some new functionality:
The Sun has many different features and events of great scientific interest. It’s useful to be able to catalog those features and measure their properties. By doing so, we can build up more knowledge about the Sun.
Yesterday the Sun showed off a series of spectacular prominence eruptions that were recorded by many users.
Prominences are relatively cool, dense clouds of plasma that lie suspended in Sun’s magnetic field, sometimes for weeks. Occasionally, they become unstable and they erupt.
We’ve reached an amazing milestone thanks to you, our users. Users of Helioviewer.org and Jhelioviewer have created over one million movies since we started counting them in February 2011. This represents an incredible amount of interest from you – our users – in the Sun and the inner heliosphere. We’d like to thank you for your continued interest in exploring our star and its influence in interplanetary space.
You may have heard of Comet ISON, a comet discovered last year that is currently approaching the Sun. It is expected to be visible in the SOHO-LASCO C2 and C3: from SOHO’s viewpoint the comet enters from the lower right early on November 27 and exits towards the top near the end of November 30 this year.
We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties with our main Helioviewer server. While we work on fixing it, we have moved all helioviewer.org services over to our backup server. All normal helioviewer.org services should be operating nominally. Please contact us if you notice anything amiss with helioviewer.org. JHelioviewer services are currently not operational, but we hope to have these up and running as soon as possible. Near real-time AIA and HMI images should be available as usual; streams of images from SOHO, STEREO and PROBA2 should be back to near real-time within 24 hours.
We are happy to announce the availability of full disk Yohkoh Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) images on helioviewer.org. SXT images x-rays from the Sun, and therefore looked at some of the hottest plasmas on the Sun. These data are important in trying to understand solar flares and the heating of the Sun’s corona.
Maintenance operations on the Helioviewer server are now complete, ahead of schedule. All Helioviewer services should be up and running as normal. We thank you for your patience in the last three days while our maintenance operations were ongoing. Please contact us if you notice a departure from normal services.
Today’s announced maintenance has been postponed until Friday 1st February. Helioviewer services will be brought down around 1600-1700 UT and will be brought back up no later than 2200 UT. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
All Helioviewer services (helioviewer.org, JHelioviewer and the embed functionality) will be temporarily suspended today (30 January 2013) to allow for maintenance of our server. We anticipate that services will be suspended at around or before 1700 UT and will resume again at around 2230 UT at the latest (could be much earlier). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
From today’s SDO blog entry:
A total solar eclipse will be visible in the Southern Hemisphere on November 13.
Hurricane Sandy is currently approaching the East Coast of the United States. Winds from the hurricane are expected to cause widespread power outages in the next 48 hours (Oct 29-30). Since an unplanned power outage to a server can cause severe damage, we are taking the precautionary measure of shutting down the Helioviewer server. The server will shut down in the next hour. We expect to be back online by Wednesday 31st October EST at the latest, contingent on the weather and the availability of power. We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause.
Helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer are both back online after last week’s outage.
You may have noticed that we currently do not have any images available, even although the website is up and running. This is because we are experiencing some technical difficulties upgrading our image capacity. We are diagnosing the problem at present, and we will make images available as soon as we possibly can. We apologize for the interruption to our services.
All Helioviewer Project services will be brought down beginning at approximately 21:00 UT on 25th September 2012. This is a planned outage, and is required to perform necessary maintenance. Helioviewer.org and the JHelioviewer server at the Goddard Spaceflight Center will be unavailable. Helioviewer Project images used by third party applications will also be unavailable. We expect to return to normal service at approximateky 13:00 UT on 26th September 2012. We apologize for this necessary but brief interruption in our services.
ESA Summer of Code in Space 2012 (SOCIS) is a program run by the European Space Agency. It offers student developers stipends to write code for various space-related open source software projects. Through SOCIS, students will be paired with mentors from participating project teams, thus gaining exposure to real-world software development. The program is inspired by (but not affiliated or related in any way to) Google’s Summer of Code initiative.
YouTube and Helioviewer.org user otraLoly shared this short video of the return of Comet 96P/Machholz to the LASCO-C3 field of view. Thanks for sharing your video! More images of the comet will be available soon on Helioviewer.org.
SDO AIA and HMI images are currently lagging behing real time by about 18 – 22 hours. This is due to some necessary hardware upgrades in the processing pipeline that have interrupted the flow of images. The availability of LASCO, EIT, COR1, COR2, EUVI and SWAP images is unaffected by these hardware upgrades. We expect that the lag in SDO AIA and HMI images compared to real time will be caught up in the next few hours. We apologize for the interruption in availability of near real time AIA and HMI images.
Sometimes, instruments that are not specifically designed to observe the Sun can see something from the Sun. This was the case with Fermi, a gamma ray telescope operated by NASA. Its primary mission is to study the most energetic features and events in the Universe, such as supermassive black holes and the merging of neutron stars. Sometimes, however, the Sun makes an appearance in Fermi data. The following GOES X-class flare on March 7th, 2012
The movie below shows the PROBA2-SWAP view of the transit so far:
Alongside of our coverage of the last Transit of Venus that most of us will get to see (the next one will be in 2117 for those of you who are particularly ambitious!) we are also launching a new online discussion forum: community.helioviewer.org.
Here are some of the many excellent videos made by Helioviewer.org users of the Transit of Venus seen by AIA…
EIT has been taking special images of the transit. From the vantage point of SOHO, Venus does not appear to cross the disk of the Sun. In the image below, the EIT image is in green.
Next week we get to see one of the rarest of solar system events, a transit of Venus across the disk of the Sun.
As seen from Earth, Venus will appear to cross the face of the Sun. The eye will see Venus as a tiny black dot moving across the Sun. Historically, the transit of Venus was used to measure the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Transits of Venus occur in pairs about 8 years apart, and each pair occurs about once every 100 years. The last transit was on June 4, 2004. The next one is June 5-6, 2012. The next one after that is in 2117!
We are pleased to announce that images from the Sun Watching Active Pixel (SWAP) instrument on board the European Space Agency’s PRoject for On Board Autonomy (PROBA-2) spacecraft are now available through Helioviewer.org.
Helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer will be unavailable on Tuesday, May 29 from approximately 14:00UT – 16:00UT for planned server maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
We are currently experiencing some issues with our local network. Users of helioviewer.org may experience some difficulties in reaching the site, and users of JHelioviewer may experience difficulties in streaming data. The network problems are also making it difficult for us to acquire the most recent images; hence, SDO AIA and HMI images are currently lagging well behind near real-time.
A new version of JHelioviewer is available for download. What’s new? This update release contains improved movie export functionality, an updated LASCO C2 coronagraph mask, the new SDO Cutout Service plug-in plus various bug fixes.
A new version of Helioviewer.org has been released including better movie customization, support for embedding Helioviewer.org in remote sites, and a number of performance and bug fixes.
As you may have noticed, we are currently experiencing a lag in the availability of SDO images. The lag is happening upstream of Helioviewer. The Helioviewer Project provides images of scientific data. The science data is beamed down from the spacecraft , to a dedicated ground station (as outlined here) in New Mexico. The packets of data are first re-assembled to form the raw science data, and then have some corrections applied to yield data suitable for science applications. Data is constantly streaming off the spacecraft and being processed through this pipeline, which involves many different locations and institutions.
A colleague who works with LASCO data yesterday found this lovely spiralling eruption close to the south pole.
YouTube and Helioviewer.org user sedge2002 found another coronal cavity. This one was on the Sun late 2011 to early 2012. It appears towards the end of this movie, at around 30-45 degrees clockwise from the north pole of Sun, above the limb:
Helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer will be unavailable on Thursday, March 15 from approximately 14:00UT – 16:00UT for planned server maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Dr. Alex Young over at The Sun Today posted a really nice video describing the multiple flares and CMEs from this morning. Definitely worth a watch if you want to know what is going on during the eruptions and the impact it is having on Earth.
The coronal mass ejection associated with the flare event of 23 January 2012 has just been spotted by the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft. ACE orbits the L1 libration point which is a point of Earth-Sun gravitational equilibrium about 1.5 million km from Earth and 148.5 million km from the Sun. From its location at L1 ACE has a prime view of the solar wind, interplanetary magnetic field and higher energy particles accelerated by the Sun, as well as particles accelerated in the heliosphere and the galactic regions beyond.
As you will already know since you are reading this, Helioviewer Project services have now returned to nominal operations earlier than anticipated. Thanks to all those concerned for their work and for keeping the downtime to a minimum!
All Helioviewer Project services (www.helioviewer.org, JHelioviewer, and the API) will be unavailable Monday 23rd January, 13:30 – 21:00 UT (2:30pm – 11pm, CET; 8.30am – 5pm, EST ; 5:30am – 2pm, PST) due to scheduled maintenance at our facility. Helioviewer Project services should be available again after about 21:00 UT. We apologize for this interruption to our services.
Recent images from the LASCO, EIT, COR1/2 instruments are now available again. We will be filling in the missing images over the coming days. We apologize for the interruption in providing these images.
YouTube and users losyziemi, MeireRuiz7 and goggog67 have created a wonderful series of movies that show a flaring system of loops coming from a source active region just coming round the limb of the Sun. Thanks for sharing these great movies!
The most recent LASCO, EIT, COR1/2 and EUVI images are currently unavailable to Helioviewer Project browse clients. This is because the computer that converts the science data to JPEG 2000 images experienced a mechanical failure on Friday January 13th. We will replace the failed machine, and make an announcement via the blog concerning the resumption of the availability of images from LASCO, EIT, COR1/2 and EUVI. We are apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Finally, images from AIA and HMI should be unaffected.
After leaving SDO/AIA’s field of view, Comet Lovejoy re-appeared in the field-of-view of SOHO’s LASCOs coronagraph:
Comet Lovejoy has been spotted coming out from behind the disk of the Sun:
We just uploaded an early movie of Comet Lovejoy as seen by SDO/AIA 171 angstroms.
Want Comet Lovejoy on your desktop….?
Comet Lovejoy will be passing close to the Sun in the next couple of days. SDO will be taking special observations of the comet beginning 22:59 UT on 2011/12/15 (5.59pm 2011/12/15, Eastern Time), and lasting for a couple of hours. The comet will pass behind the solar limb at around 00:07 UT 2011/12/16 (7:07pm 2011/12/15, Eastern Time). There is a chance the comet will survive its encounter with the Sun.
A new version of Helioviewer.org has been released, including a few new features to make it easier to share videos and links.
NASA astrophysicist James Klimchuk recently gave a talk to the American Geophysical Union on the connection between the Sun, space weather and the Earth.
As some of you may have noticed, a few new features were added to Helioviewer.org last week, following the release of a new version of the web-site.
You may have noticed a delay in the availability of new SDO images. We are currently troubleshooting the issue with the pipeline we use to obtain near real time images of the Sun. We are also currently developing an alternate capability that will provide you with at least some images at a lower cadence and a lower spatial resolution.
Helioviewer user otraLoly was first to share this rather spectacular looking event in SDO AIA data yesterday:
This amazing video of the aurora was taken from the International Space Station:
We are very pleased to announce that Helioviewer Project services are now back online.
Helioviewer and YouTube user atomlibre1 shared a video of the planet Venus moving across the SOHO LASCO C3 coronagraph’s field-of-view.
We are happy to announce that the Helioviewer Project has been accepted as a mentoring organization for ESA’s pilot project Summer of Code in Space 2011!
YouTube and Helioviewer.org user galaxy387 posted the video below showing a comet falling towards the Sun.
Due to the growing user community of JHelioviewer and helioviewer.org, our server traffic has increased significantly. This bug fix release, together with the deployment of our new open-source JPIP server addresses a number of bugs, some of which were related to high server load.
We apologize for the lack of new images from AIA. This is due to issues outwith our control. We create the images you see from AIA level 1.5 data products (the number refers to the degree of image calibration, etc., that has been applied to the raw data) that are processed at SDO Joint Science Operations Center. As you can see, those data appear to be lagging at the moment. As soon as the data returns, Helioviewer will automatically generate images and make them available.
Some of you may have noticed that helioviewer.org was not displaying recent AIA or HMI images in the last 24 hours. This was due to a glitch in the processing pipeline, and we apologize for this. The issue has been resolved and newer images are now coming online. We expect to be caught up within the next few hours. If you spot any problems, please let us know.
Helioviewer and YouTube user otraLoly spotted this interesting active region earlier on today.
Dan Pendick recently posted an excellent series of articles about the Helioviewer Project on his blog, Geeked on Goddard. In five short articles Dan describes many of the different parts of the project, including Helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer. He also discusses some of the technologies that have made all of this possible. If you are interested in learning more about the project and how it all works, you should definitely check out the articles. Also, if you are a science/tech enthusiast I would highly recommend subscribing to Dan’s blog where you can learn more about some of the other cool projects that call the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center their home.
We are pleased to announce that the most recent, high quality STEREO images are now available on helioviewer.org.
Although Tuesday’s eruption was certainly a wonderful sight, it isn’t the first time that SOHO and SDO were able to capture some really cool events in action.
Well, we were hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but unfortunately we had to reset the movie queue this morning, deleting many requests which were made during the last couple days. The reason for the reset is that our server was overwhelmed with requests, to the point where new requests had estimated wait times in numbers of days, which is unreasonable. We looked into many different options, and tried some (including reducing the size of the movies made), but nothing was able to completely solve our problems: the time it would have taken to completely catch-up would have meant that even if other new exciting solar events were to occur, videos of those events would not be processed until days later!
Yesterday’s spectacular eruptive event was just one example of the amazing phenomena on the Sun and the inner heliosphere. Stuff is going on all the time, like this coronal mass ejection seen by the STEREO mission
In response to the huge demand resulting from yesterday’s spectacular eruption, we are going to temporarily decrease the maximum size of the movies created on Helioviewer.org.
As you may have already noticed if you tried to make a movie this afternoon, the estimated wait time for new movies requests is currently very long due to the exciting eruption we saw this morning. Usually when you request a movie it will be created within a couple minutes. Right now, however, the queue time is in the hours range.
These videos show some of the larger scale effects of flares on the Sun. In the video, you can see two big eruptions approximately 10 and 17 seconds into the video, from the active region in the lower left.
Helioviewer.org has been updated to include several new features and a number of bug fixes. Although the update is focused primarily on improving the reliability and performance, several new features have been added, and over the next 2-3 weeks you should begin to see new types of images from the STEREO mission.
This image caught our attention for the unusual streaks in the LASCO-C3 field of view:
We’re working on including data from NASA’s STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory, stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov) mission. It’s a mission consisting of two spacecraft, one drifting ahead of the Earth, and drifting behind, taking images of the Sun and the inner heliosphere. The concept behind the mission is to view the Sun as a three-dimensional object, from which we can better understand its surface structures and how it influences the inner heliosphere. This is the view from STEREO-A, and this is the view of the same event from STEREO-B. Both movies are of coronagraph data taken with the COR2 instrument; both STEREO spacecraft have the same instrument suites onboard.
Some of you may have noticed that recent LASCO C2 images are upside down. You can notice this quite easily, as the streamer belts in LASCO C2 do not line up with the streamer belts in LASCO C3. This is due to an error in the way we write out LASCO C2 images. We are diagnosing the problem and will rewrite the affected images shortly. This in itself will be delayed due to the fact that the machine which writes out new LASCO C2 and C3 images will be offline for a couple of days. We apologize for the interruption to our service in the delivery of good quality new and recent LASCO images. Older LASCO images are unaffected, as are HMI and AIA images.
As you may have noticed, www.helioviewer.org was down for a few days. We are sorry about that, since we want to give our users the best possible service for exploring solar and heliospheric data.
Some of you may have noticed that we have not had any new AIA or HMI images in the past few hours. AIA and HMI are still taking data, and that data is still being beamed down to the Earth, where it is being stored and distributed around the world. The problem lies in the pipeline we use to convert that AIA and HMI science data into images that are used by the Helioviewer Project. The Helioviewer Project team is currently working to find and fix the problem. Images from other instruments, such as EIT and LASCO C2 are unaffected.
After many large and interesting events yesterday, the Sun produced this spectacular eruptive event late yesterday.
Today the Moon is passing across the field of view of AIA on board SDO. AIA sees this as a partial obscuration of the disk of the Sun. If you look at an AIA image near 15:00 UTC (March 04, 2011) you can clearly see that a big round object – our Moon – is blocking a portion of the solar disk, and some off disk-emission.
The latest JHelioviewer update adds support for SDO/HMI data and features a new contrast filter, as well as an improved plugin to access the Heliophysics Event Knowledgebase (HEK).
Today we are making available images from the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI), an instrument on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory. HMI is designed to study oscillations and the magnetic field at the solar surface, or photosphere. We are providing line-of-sight magnetograms and continuum images* based on HMI science data. A line-of-sight magnetogram measures the flux of magnetic field as seen along the line of sight from HMI to the Sun. A continuum image is formed by filtering portions of the visible light part of the spectrum.
We recently changed the process of how we convert SDO-AIA science data into JPEG2000 images for use with the Helioviewer Project. The new process is now based on the scaling algorithms used to provide images for the Goddard Spaceflight Center’s SDO webpage. Images with the new scaling start from about 2011/01/31 02:00 – 04:00 UT onwards, depending on the measurement. The SDO-AIA 171 waveband shows the least difference between old and new scaling algorithms. All other wavebands show significant changes. We changed the scaling algorithms we use so that users are better able to see the structure and detail in these images without having to do any extra image processing themselves. We think the new images are a definite improvement, and we hope you like them too. Thanks to Leila Mays and Barbara Thompson of the SDO mission for their help in implementing the new scaling algorithms.
Thanks to NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory mission, the Helioviewer server, hosted in the Solar Data Analysis Center at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland, USA, has acquired and made operational an additional 15TB of storage. This will allow us to maintain through the coming year, the same level of service of Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and other images that we already provide through the Helioviewer.org and JHelioviewer browse clients. This new storage will allow us to keep all the images we already have, plus new images from the upcoming year, online and available for our users to browse as they please. As always, we welcome any comments on how we may improve our service, and we look forward to what the Sun will bring us in 2011!
We have put together a short slideshow introducing the major features of Helioviewer.org and uploaded it to SlideShare. If you want a quick overview of what all the different buttons and options are on Helioviewer.org, check it out. Afterwards if you want to get a more in-depth understanding of all of the features offered by Helioviewer, try reading the Helioviewer User Guide.
Users now have the ability to upload any Helioviewer.org produced videos directly from Helioviewer.org to YouTube. Users can also share these uploaded videos directly with other users of Helioviewer.org. If you take a look at the Helioviewer.org website you will notice a new video section on the bottom-right corner of the page. All of the videos that are linked to there were created by users on Helioviewer.org and uploaded to YouTube.
Around 2010/10/29-30 the SOHO spacecraft changed flight operations so it is no longer constantly aligned with the rotation axis of the Sun. SOHO now points to ecliptic north, which makes an approximate seven degree angle with the equator of the Sun. SOHO will still flip 180 degrees in order to maintain optimal communication with the Earth, but the rotation will now flip the spacecraft relative to ecliptic north. The raw image data that SOHO takes therefore shows the new orientation. At the Helioviewer Project, we rotate the data so that solar north is towards the top of your screen and the rotation axis of the Sun is vertical (i.e., parallel to the left and right hand side of a rectangular screen). Our science data processing software – JP2Gen – now takes account of the new rotation of SOHO and rotates SOHO science data appropriately. This is done to maintain homogeneity with the existing images we already provide, and makes it easy to compare images from multiple telescopes.
You may have noticed that we didn’t have any new AIA images, from about 2010/12/19. This was due to an interruption in the creation of the science-quality files we use to create the images available via the Helioviewer Project. The situation has been rectified, and we are currently filling in missing data between now and when the interruption began (approximately 2010/12/19 04:00 UT). We are filling in the missing data at the approximate rate of 1.5 – 2 days worth of AIA images per 24 hours.
Helioviewer.org has been updated this morning to include some recent improvement to the movie generation process. The result of this update is that the quality of the movies that you see on Helioviewer.org has been greatly improved.
Helioviewer.org has been updated to include a number of new features and bug fixes. Although many of the features included in this release have already been available online for some time now, their performance and reliability has been greatly improved during the past several weeks.
We now have over 6 million images of the Sun and inner heliosphere available online for everyone to explore. We add approximately 20,000 images a day, and we have been running for about 5 1/2 months so far. Stay tuned for images from different instruments in the near future!
We now have a completely independent machine producing SOHO JP2 files. Files made on that machine are transferred to our main server (and a reference copy is kept). This makes it easier to maintain a stream of SoHO images independent of the machines on which JP2Gen is developed. Now all we have to do is take care of the new orientation of SoHO…!
Many institutions host many different kinds of image data, either from observations or from simulations. I have put instructions on how to convert image data to a format the Helioviewer Project uses on our wiki page. The wiki is where we keep our must up-to-date instructions on the installation and use of all the software we are developing.
Some people were aware that our server had a hardware issue shortly before the Fifth Solar Image Processing Workshop (http://sipworkv.sipwork.org/). Bad timing. But now the good news – we have it back, and we are filling it with JP2 images. We should be heading back to full operations on our newly repaired server very soon.
Ok, I’ve just updated the main trunk of JP2Gen (launchpad.net/jp2gen). Trying it on one of our local machines which we will run as a SOHO FITS to JP2 engine.
Hello, world. That seems a like a simple enough start to the blog of the Helioviewer Project. We’ll post news about the Helioviewer Project; progress, outstanding issues, latest features, questions to you about features, and so on. We really want to hear your feedback on our project so the tools we develop are the ones you will use. So don’t hold back, and let us know what you think about the Helioviewer Project, and how we can improve it.