By Mara Johnson-Groh, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
January 18, 2021
NASA‘s pictures of the Sun’s dynamic and dazzling appeal have mesmerized the attention of millions. In 2021, the US Postal Service is showcasing the Sun’s many confront with a series of Sun Science permanently stamps that show pictures of solar activity recorded by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO.
” I have actually been a stamp collector all my life and I can’t wait to see NASA science highlighted in this way,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in Washington. “I feel that the natural world around us is as beautiful as art, and it’s inspiring to be able to share the import and enjoyment of studying the Sun with people around the country.”
The images show common events on the Sun, such as solar flares, sunspots and coronal loops. Outfitted with devices to capture images of the Sun in numerous wavelengths of noticeable, ultraviolet, and severe ultraviolet light, SDO has actually collected hundreds of millions of images throughout its tenure to help researchers find out about how our star works and how its continuously churning magnetic fields develop the solar activity we see.
That solar activity can drive space weather condition closer to Earth that can disrupt innovation and radio interactions in space. Immediate relevancy to our high-tech everyday lives, the study of the Sun and its impact on the worlds and area surrounding it– a field of research study known as heliophysics– holds profound ramifications for the understanding of our solar system and the thousands of solar systems that have been discovered beyond our own. As our closest star, the Sun is the only nearby star that humans have the ability to study in excellent detail, making it an essential source of data.