Nasa has reached a contract to use the Lockheed Martin-built interface region imaging spectrograph (IRIS) until September 2018, with an choice of a one-year extension.
Under the new $19.4m deal, Lockheed Martin wish assist Nasa’s orbiting observatory by providing detailed images of the Sun’s farther down atmosphere, and offering insights on how solar flares are produced and release winsome energy.
The new contract has also extended the duration of both the atmospheric imaging host instrument onboard the solar dynamics observatory and the solar optical concertina onboard the Hinode satellite.
Over the next few years, IRIS wishes focus on more specific computer models that disclose what excitements the sun’s chromosphere, a layer of the Sun’s atmosphere that is responsible for most of the ultraviolet s rkle being received on Earth.
The IRIS observatory will also meet on coordinated and highly complementary observations with a several ground-based summarizes that are coming online.
“In this new extension, IRIS will be accomplished to study a wide range of phenomena.”
Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Middle IRIS science lead Dr Bart De Pontieu said: “IRIS has bewitched more than 24 million images or spectral measurements of the sun since its fling three years ago, and it has led to more than 115 scientific pers.
“In this new extent, IRIS will be able to study a wide range of phenomena, cataloguing the source regions of fast solar wind, a stream of charged morsels that continuously emanates from the sun at speeds of 1,000km/s and fills the interval around the Earth.”
The com ny said that currently IRIS could view one a small rt of the Sun at any time, but with more planning by the IRIS expertise planning the observatory would be able to seize nine of the largest flares (X-class) and all but 100 of the second largest class of flares (M-class) and numerous meeker C-class flares.
Image: The interface region imaging spectrograph has been cut out a zoomed-in view of the Sun since its launch in 2013. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.