An Earth Science Enterprise mission, SORCE will be focusing on the sun. With four instruments, it will orbit Earch 15 itmes a day and measure the Sun’s radiative output (also called Total Solar Irradiance) & analyze the Sun’s energy in visible color, as well as ultraviolet & infrared wavelengths that can be used to determine solar heating of Earth’s oceans, ice, land & absorbing layers of the atmosphere.
Atmosphere – 10.7 Mb
Only 1% of the TSI is absorbed by the upper atmosphere – mostly UV radiation absorbed by stratospheric ozone. About 20 – 24% heads into the lower atmosphere (troposphere) and is absorbed by waver vapor, trace gases, clouds and darker aerosols. The remaining 46 – 50% of visible light penetrates the atmosphere and is absorbed by the land and the oceans.
Complete Solar Cycle – 21.4 Mb
The Sun’s output fluctuates daily, but science concentrates on the 11-year sunspot cycle. Over the cycle the number of sunspots and associated faculae (bright regions on the Sun’s surface which usually form before sunspots appear) observed range from a max 200 spots per month to as few as a dozen per month during minimum.
Spacecraft to IM Mate – 4.28 Mb
SORCE scientists can be seen mating the SORCE instruments to the spacecraft’s Instrument Module (IM).
Pegasus Launch – 22.7 Mb
A short video discussing Orbital’s unique launch vehicle system – The Pegasus. This is the launch vehicle that SORCE will use when it launches.
Global – 9.25 Mb
What happens when solar irradiance reaches Earth? Only about 70% of the energy that reaches Earth is absorbed, while the other 30% is reflected back into space by atmosphere and aerosols, ocean/land and clouds, as seen in this animation.
Atmosphere Radiation – 2.77 Mb
This is another animation depicting the way radiation is absorbed and reflected by the Earth
SORCE Reporter Package – 1:00min – 20 Mb
SORCE Launch Videos
Introduction – 12.3 Mb
Take Off – 45.1 Mb
Go for the Launch – 6.69 Mb
The Launch – 177 Mb
The Four Instruments
SIM Optical Animation
Slide show describing the optics of the SIM.
XUV Photometer System (XPS) Mechanical Animation
Slide show of the XPS instrument’s main mechanical features.
Solar Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE) Mechanical Animation
Slide show of the SOLSTICE instrument’s main mechanical features.