From NASA’s cleanroom in the Goddard Space Flight Center comes a new satellite that will be used to observe the sun. The IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) will be studying an area near the sun’s surface called the enigmatic region. As to be expected, this area is extremely hot (about 1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit) and has been tough to study.
“IRIS will extend our observations of the sun to a region that has historically been difficult to study,” says Joe Davila, IRIS project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “Understanding the interface region better improves our understanding of the whole corona and, in turn, how it affects the solar system.”
The IRIS has a host of on- board tools for observation, and one of the most important tools is the high resolution camera. This camera will capture images that are detailed enough to see areas that are about 150 miles across on the sun. The IRIS will also be gathering data about velocity, temperature and density.
The IRIS will be launched in late June. You can see more details in the video below.
h/t NASA (photo credit Lockheed Martin)