NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft has recovered fully from a hiccup it suffered while observing an eclipse last week, agency officials said.
SDO didn't go back into "science mode" after watching the moon pass in front of the sun on Aug. 2. (This eclipse was visible from the spacecraft's vantage point in Earth orbit, but not to observers on the ground.)
Two of the probe's three science instruments — the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager and the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment — had come back online by Aug. 4. And NASA announced yesterday (Aug. 10) that the third, known as the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, was back in action as well.
"All three of SDO’s instruments are now online and sending science data back to Earth," agency officials wrote in an update yesterday.
The $800 million SDO mission launched in February 2010 and has been capturing amazing, high-resolution images of the sun ever since. The spacecraft's observations are helping scientists better understand what drives variation in solar activity, mission team members have said.