NASA SDO: Satellite performs roll maneuver to calibrate scientific instrument.

Go Home, SDO. You’re Drunk.

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
April 4 2013 10:50 AM

Go Home, SDO. You’re Drunk.

Every year, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory performs a “roll maneuver”, spinning around as it points to the Sun. This is done for many reasons, including to help define exactly where the Sun's spin axis is, which makes it easier for the various cameras on the satellite to compensate for the Sun’s motion as they take data.

Sound technical? It is. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it.

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Oh, how I wish the satellite were named Rick.

Tip o’ the occulting bar to Little SDO on Facebook.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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