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June 25, 2018 - IRIS Eyes the Sun

IRIS Eyes the Sun  While it seems static from our vantage point on Earth 93 million miles away, the Sun is constantly changing. Under the influence of complex magnetic forces, material moves throughout the solar atmosphere and can burst forth in massive eruptions. NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, tracks how energy and heat courses through a little understood region of the solar atmosphere called the interface region, the lower levels of the sun’s atmosphere. The solar observatory was launched five years ago this week for a prime mission of two years, but the mission has been extended through September 2018, with further extensions possible. In this photo, taken just before IRIS completed its 10,000th orbit, IRIS captured several large solar prominences on the edge of the Sun.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

June 25 - July 1, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 25

Mercury 5° south of Pollux

1894: Hermann Oberth born
1992: STS-50 Columbia launched
1997: Progress spacecraft collides with Mir Spektr module
1999: Gemini North telescope dedicated

Moon phase Tuesday 26

1730: Charles Messier born
1914: Lyman Spitzer, Jr born
1963: Syncom 2 satellite launched
1984: First space shuttle launch pad abort (STS-41D)

Moon phase Wednesday 27

Vesta 0.3° south of Moon
Saturn at opposition

1982: STS-4 Columbia launched
1995: STS-71 Atlantis launched
1997: NEAR-Shoemaker probe flies by asteroid Mathilde
2013: IRIS spacecraft launched

Moon phase Thursday 28

Saturn 1.8° south of Moon
Mars appears stationary
Full Moon 12:53 AM ET

Moon phase Friday 29

Moon at apogee

1868: George Ellery Hale born
1961: Transit 4A launched, first nuclear-powered satellite
1971: Soyuz 11 crew dies during reentry

Moon phase Saturday 30

Mars 5° south of Moon

1908: Tunguska impact levels hundreds of miles of Siberian forest
2001: WMAP spacecraft launched

Moon phase Sunday 1

Canada Day (Canada)

1917: 100” mirror arrives at Mt. Wilson Observatory
1972: Wernher von Braun retires from NASA
1997: STS-94 Columbia launched

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