When a pond's surface is calm, you can see more clearly into its depths. As it turns out, the same is true for the sun.
Researchers are excited that the sun's surface is calmer now than it's been in almost a century. It's a rare opportunity — the first since the Space Age began — to peer more clearly into the sun's mysterious interior.
To take advantage of the opportunity, NASA is about to launch the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). SDO is expected to launch this year, as early as November 2009.
"That's perfect timing," says Dean Pesnell, a solar physicist at the...