Colorado

Mar 20, 2010 1:36 PM by Associated Press

New satellite begins sending solar data to Earth

A new NASA satellite designed to help predict disruptive solar storms has begun transmitting data to Earth about five weeks after launch.

University of Colorado scientists say they began getting information from the Solar Dynamics Observatory on Friday. Controllers have been adjusting the satellite's Earth orbit since the Feb. 11 launch.

The satellite carries the most advanced solar observatory ever built. CU's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics designed and built one of its three instruments, called the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment, or EVE. It will measure changes in the sun's light output.

The two other instruments will measure the sun's magnetic fields and atmosphere. Both were built by Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto, California.

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