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In the News – Year 2016

12.30.16 – Space Timekeeping: NASA’s SDO Adds Leap Second to Master Clock
On Dec. 31, 2016, official clocks around the world will add a leap second just before midnight Coordinated Universal Time – which corresponds to 6:59:59 p.m. EST.

11.03.16 – NASA's SDO Performs Calibration Maneuvers
On Oct. 19, 2016, operators instructed NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, to look up and down and then side to side over the course of six hours, as if tracing a great plus sign in space.

10.31.16 – NASA's SDO Catches a Lunar Transit
On Oct. 30, 2016, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, experienced a partial solar eclipse in space when it caught the moon passing in front of the sun.

10.20.16 – Tracking Waves from Sunspots Gives New Solar Insight
While it often seems unvarying from our viewpoint on Earth, the sun is constantly changing. Material courses through not only the star itself, but throughout its expansive atmosphere.

10.05.16 – NASA's SDO Watches Magnetic Arches Tower Over Sun's Surface
Massive arches of solar material brighten and stream over an active region on the sun's surface in this animation of imagery captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, on Sept. 29, 2016. Active regions are areas of particularly strong and complex magnetic fields.

09.28.16 – NASA's Van Allen Probes Spot Electron Rainfall in Atmosphere
Our planet is nestled in the center of two doughnut-shaped regions of powerful, dynamic radiation: the Van Allen belts, where high-energy particles are trapped by Earth's magnetic field.

09.22.16 – NASA Scientist to Discuss “A Space Weather Report” at Library of Congress Lecture
The public is invited to a free talk called “A Space Weather Report: Preparing Space Explorers for Bad Weather throughout the Solar System” with NASA Solar Scientist C. Alex Young in the Pickford Theater, sixth floor, Dining Room A, Madison Building, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT.

09.02.16 – NASA's SDO Witnesses a Double Eclipse
Early in the morning of Sept. 1, 2016, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, caught both Earth and the moon crossing in front of the sun.

08.17.16 – NASA-Funded Balloon Mission Begins Fourth Campaign
The BARREL team is at Esrange Space Center near Kiruna, Sweden, launching a series of six scientific payloads on miniature scientific balloons.

08.15.16 – NASA's Van Allen Probes Catch Rare Glimpse of Supercharged Radiation Belt
Our planet is nestled in the center of two immense, concentric doughnuts of powerful radiation: the Van Allen radiation belts, which harbor swarms of charged particles that are trapped by Earth's magnetic field.

08.10.16 – SDO Status Update
UPDATE, Aug. 10, 2016 (1:58 p.m. EDT) - All three of SDO's instruments are now online and sending science data back to Earth.

08.05.16 – IRIS Spots Plasma Rain on Sun's Surface
On July 24, 2016, NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, captured a mid-level solar flare: a sudden flash of bright light on the solar limb – the horizon of the sun – as seen at the beginning of this video.

07.29.16 – NASA's Solar Probe Plus Mission Moves One Step Closer to Launch
NASA's Solar Probe Plus – the first mission that will fly into sun's upper atmosphere and “touch” the sun – has passed a design review, an important milestone leading to its anticipated summer 2018 launch.

07.23.16 – SDO Sees Trio of Mid-Level Flares
The sun emitted three mid-level solar flares on July 22-23, 2016, the strongest peaking at 1:16 am EDT on July 23.

07.22.16 – NASA's SDO Watches Bursts of Solar Material
Solar material repeatedly bursts from the sun in this close-up captured on July 9-10, 2016, by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO.

07.15.16 – NASA's SDO Takes a Spin
On July 6, 2016, engineers instructed NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, to roll 360 degrees on one axis.

06.27.16 – SDO Watches Twisting Solar Material Over the Sun's Surface
Solar material twists above the sun's surface in this close-up captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on June 7-8, 2016, showcasing the turbulence caused by combative magnetic forces on the sun.

05.26.16 – NASA's SDO Peers Into Huge Coronal Hole
This imagery of the sun captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory from May 17-19, 2016, shows a giant dark area on the star's upper half, known as a coronal hole.

05.19.16 – NASA Mini-Balloon Mission Maps Migratory Magnetic Boundary
During the Antarctic summer of 2013-2014, a team of researchers released a series of translucent scientific balloons, one by one.

05.19.16 – NASA's Van Allen Probes Reveal Long-term Behavior of Earth's Ring Current
New findings based on a year's worth of observations from NASA's Van Allen Probes have revealed that the ring current — an electrical current carried by energetic ions that encircles our planet — behaves in a much different way than previously understood.

05.10.16 – Mercury Transit (Composite Image)
On May 9, 2016, Mercury passed directly between the sun and Earth.

05.10.16 – Swept Up in the Solar Wind
From our vantage point on the ground, the sun seems like a still ball of light, but in reality, it teems with activity.

05.03.16 – Satellites to See Mercury Enter Spotlight on May 9
It happens only a little more than once a decade — and the next chance to see it is Monday, May 9.

05.03.16 – NASA to Provide Coverage of May 9 Mercury Transit of the Sun
NASA is inviting media and viewers around the world to see a relatively rare celestial event, with coverage of the Monday, May 9 transit of the sun by the planet Mercury.

05.03.16 – NASA's SDO Watches Glowing Solar Material Arch Up and Out
An elongated, streaming arch of solar material rose up at the sun's edge before breaking apart in this animation of imagery captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on April 28, 2016.

04.26.16 – SDO Captures Stunning View of April 17 Solar Flare
On April 17, 2016, an active region on the sun's right side released a mid-level solar flare, which can be seen in this movie as a bright flash of light.

04.19.16 – Seeing Double: NASA Missions Measure Solar Flare from 2 Spots in Space
Solar flares are intense bursts of light from the sun.

04.18.16 – NASA's SDO Captures Images of a Mid-Level Solar Flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 8:29 pm EDT on April 17, 2016.

04.15.16 – Towering Magnetic Arches Seen by NASA's SDO
Arches of magnetic field lines towered over the sun's edge as a pair of active regions began to rotate into view in this video captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on April 5-6, 2016.

04.08.16 – NASA's SDO Spies an Elongated Coronal Hole
A long coronal hole can be seen right down the middle of the sun in this video captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on March 23-25, 2016.

03.22.16 – NASA's SDO Sees Circular Outburst
A round solar prominence burst from the sun on March 13, 2016, shortly after it rotated into the view of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO.

03.15.16 – Picturing the Sun's Magnetic Field
This illustration lays a depiction of the sun's magnetic fields over an image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on March 12, 2016.

03.03.2016 – A Moment in the Sun's Atmosphere: NASA's Science During the March 2016 Total Solar Eclipse
As the moon slowly covers the face of the sun on the morning of March 9, 2016, in Indonesia, a team of NASA scientists will be anxiously awaiting the start of totality — because at that moment, their countdown clock begins.

02.29.2016 – Eclipse Season Begins for NASA's SDO
The 2016 spring eclipse season of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory began Feb. 19, 2016.