Anomaly places Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in inertial mode

Anomaly places Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in inertial mode

Following a lunar transit from 11:13 to 12:18 UTC on August 2, 2016, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) did not go back into Science mode. 

More than 24 hours after the anomaly occurred, mission managers said the spacecraft is currently in inertial mode. "The team is receiving data from the spacecraft and is bringing SDO's instruments back online," they said late August 3.

SDO witnesses lunar transit when the moon passes between the spacecraft and the Sun. The spacecraft recorded lunar transits before, but this type of anomaly never happened before.

The entire solar observing community is waiting for SDO to come back online.

The video below shows lunar transit as seen by the SDO on January 30, 2014. Such a lunar transit happens two to three times each year. This one lasted two and one half hours, which is the longest ever recorded:

Featured image: NASA SDO/AIA 304 at 11:28 UTC on August 2, 2016


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