Three years ago, on Feb. 11, 2010, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched into orbit to begin its solar odyssey. Intended to give us the most high-definition view of the sun to date, the SDO has transformed our understanding of our nearest star.
Motivated by the desire to aid efforts to understand space weather and its impact on our planet, the SDO has done a lot more. It is unraveling the mysterious nature of flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and aiding solar physicists in the hunt for the underlying mechanism that heats the solar corona.
In addition to all the science, the SDO mission has been a public outreach triumph -- an achievement embodied by a little yellow chicken mascot called Camilla Corona SDO.
So, to celebrate this landmark mission, we've selected some of our our favorite SDO observations over the years.