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12 February 2011

Solar Dynamic Observatory Launch Leads to Atmospheric Optics Discovery!

One year ago today, the Solar Dynamics Observatory lifted off from Cape Canaveral. It was a beautiful day with some high cirrus clouds in the sky producing a commonly seen phenomenon called a sundog. They are caused by sunlight refracting off of hexagonal ice crystals that make up the cirrus clouds, and this one in particular was quite colorful. Hang on, here come the wild parts: First the shock waves …


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