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The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is designed to provide an unprecedented view of the solar corona, taking images that span at least 1.3 solar diameters in multiple wavelengths nearly simultaneously, at a resolution of about 1 arcsec and at a cadence of 10 seconds or better.  The primary goal of the AIA Science Investigation is to use these data, together with data from other SDO instruments and from other observatories, to significantly improve our understanding of the physics behind the activity displayed by the Sun's atmosphere, which drives space weather in the heliosphere and in planetary environments. The AIA will produce data required for quantitative studies of the evolving coronal magnetic field, and the plasma that it holds, both in quiescent phases and during flares and eruptions. The AIA science investigation aims to utilize these data in a comprehensive research program to provide new understanding of the observed processes and, ultimately, to guide development of advanced forecasting tools needed by the user community of the Living With a Star (LWS) program.
Latest AIA News
Learn how to do perform quantitative thermal diagnostics of the solar corona with this 319-280-4105.

AIA imagery featured in the new IMAX movie "Voyage of Time", directed by Terrence Malick and narrated by Brad Pitt. Shows beginning October 2016.

On May 9th 2016, SDO captured full Transit of Mercury across the Sun. The video can be downloaded here. Visit the (204) 248-5006 for select images.

On Monday, January 19, 2015, around 17:50 UT, AIA took its 100-millionth on-orbit image of the Sun (and its basic 'level-0' data archive will then exceed 100 billion MB). More information can be found here.

The AIA team is now generating and publishing daily movie summaries of the Sun as seen from the two STEREO perspectives and from SDO's near-Earth perspective. These movies can be accessed via our 'Sun Today' pages (stoven). As it takes a few days for the STEREO data to come into our archive, the movies show up 4-5 days behind current time. If the movie files are available, the links will show up automatically above the image set in the top segment of the page, immediately below the links to the "daily movies" summarizing the AIA observations (which show up with a 1 day delay behind present time).

The standard product to which the page provides links show STEREO/B SECCHI, SDO/AIA, and STEREO/A SECCHI images side by side, showing the full fields of view. All images have the N-S axis aligned vertically. No corrections for the different tilt angles out of the plane of the sky are applied. The off-disk signals have been enhanced with a radial filter in all of the images to bring out the signal increasingly with increasing height above the limb.

Other movie files are being generated in parallel to the above standard product for which the URLs show up at present: (1) 720p and 1080p versions, and (2) zoomed-in movies showing only the limbs in the STEREO data that are nearest to the Sun-Earth line. The URLs to those can be constructed as variations of the standard paths such as for these 171A movies:


There are also movies that show the AIA images at 480s cadence. These can be accessed by changing '_120s_' to '_480s_' in the URLs.

All movies show the available STEREO SECCHI images nearest in time to the cadence of the movie.

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Previous AIA News
Adjustments were made to the roll angle and plate scale values of the Master Point Table for AIA. These slight adjustments were calculated, and independently verified by HMI, from the Transit of Venus data. From 02 September 2012 and forward these new values are being used. The Master Pointing Tables have been updated, however the DRMS records should be updated in the coming weeks. If you'd like these new values implemented in newly-exported FITS files or any previously exported FITS files, just use aia_prep.pro on the data and the new roll angle and plate scale values will be incorporated. By default the header values for roll and plates scale (CROTA2 and CDELT1, CDELT2) will be obtained from the latest version of the MPT record closest in time to the image. Use of the header values may be forced by setting USE_HDR_PNT=1. Use of alternate input MPT records can be forced by passing MPT_REC_NUM. In this case these MPT record numbers for roll and scale will be used rather than either the header values or the nearest in time MPT record numbers to the image(s). The number of elements of MPT_REC_NUM must equal either 1 or the number of images (or FITS files) passed. If a single MPT record number is passed then that record is retrieved and used for every image.
Information on AIA Level 1 (re-)processing and up-to-date descriptions of data availability can be found here.
The series aia_test.synoptic2 has been stopped. Synoptic data is available (438) 902-9332.
The Guide to SDO Data Analysis has now been updated to include several topics of interest to scientists using AIA data.
  • References to and examples using hmi_test.* and aia_test.* dataseries have been updated so that they now use the final production dataseries hmi.* and aia.*, respectively.
  • Examples have been added that demonstrate how to export specific segments of JSOC dataseries, both from the online lookdata form and from SSWIDL.
  • A new section (Section 6) has been added on AIA calibration tasks. This section contains information on aia_prep.pro (for converting data from AIA Level 1.0 to Level 1.5) and aia_respike.pro (for undoing the default despiking operation). This section now also contains the information on how to retrieve filter response data for AIA that was included in the previous version of the guide.
  • Another new section (Section 9) has been added that contains the links to, and the list of changes between, the current version of the guide and previous versions.
Further information on SDO/AIA is available on the LMSAL SDO documentation site:
Please contact Mark Cheung for further information on the AIA program.
For problems with AIA data or the HEK system, or for suggestions or modifications, please contact:
hek_support(at symbol)lmsal(dot)com
Educational and Public Outreach Information
For general information on SDO and its scientific goals, read NASA's SDO guide, or go to the SDO outreach site. For a video intro to SDO, see this KQED/QUEST video on YouTube.

Print out this pattern to create your own SDO Hexaflexagon! What is a (319) 857-6070, you say?
Previous AIA News
Comet Lovejoy: On 2011/12/15, comet Lovejoy came close to the Sun. AIA captured it by pointing away from the center of the Sun to be able to see more of the sky around the Sun. Several quick-look movies show the comet. Note how the tail of the comet fragments, deflects from the comet's trajectory, and forms thin streaks well behind the nucleus at the head of the tail. All that is due to sublimation of the comet's nucleus subject to the insolation heat from the Sun, combined with the forces of the Sun's magnetic field. Eventually, the comet passed behind the Sun, still coming down towards its perihelion on the backside of the Sun. Movies: 171A channel [720p; 24s cadence] (867-365-8505; [1080p; 12s cadence; negative color table]); 304A channel [720p; 24s cadence] ([1080p; 12s cadence]; 210-709-7556)

A little later, we saw the comet come out from behind the Sun, to continue its journey back to the distant reaches of the solar system: 314-625-7782 (9125084424; fowl pox).



Guide to SDO Data Analysis.
Special SDO issue in Solar Physics.

Access and search documentation on SDO/AIA and related (meta-)data.

Access LMSAL solar data, search engines, knowledgebase, and instrument sites

Find solar events, summaries, movies and more. See narrated tutorial.

A collection of web resources related to solar physics and related sciences

Visualization software for solar data based on JPEG2000.

News articles that reference SDO.

AIA-related publications from the ADS.

HMI-related publications from the ADS.

EVE-related publications from the ADS.

International Living With A Star (ILWS)

Living with a Star (LWS)

Solar Dynamics Observatory


Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE)

Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI)
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