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Astronomy in the News

Mercury Winter 2011 Table of Contents


ESA screenshot

A screenshot from ESA's JHelioviewer. The solar image, taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows a prominence twisting upwards in the atmosphere of the Sun.

ESA Makes the Sun Available to Everyone

European Space Agency

New software developed by ESA makes available online to everyone, everywhere, at anytime, the entire library of images from the SOHO solar and heliospheric observatory. Just download the viewer and begin exploring the Sun.

JHelioviewer is new visualisation software that enables everyone to explore the Sun. Developed as part of the ESA/NASA Helioviewer Project, it provides a desktop program that enables users to call up images of the Sun from the past 15 years. More than a million images from SOHO can already be accessed, and new images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are being added every day.

Using this new software, users can create their own movies of the Sun, color the images as they wish, and image-process the movies in real time. They can export their finished movies in various formats, and track features on the Sun by compensating for solar rotation.

"We wanted to make it easy to view solar images from different observatories and instruments, and to make it easy to make movies," says Daniel Müller, ESA SOHO Deputy Project Scientist. "Before, it took hours to combine images from different telescopes to make a movie of the Sun for a given period. With JHelioviewer, everyone can do this in minutes. This is an interactive visual archive of the entire SOHO mission."

 


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