NASA’s newest Solar Observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph – IRIS, has provided its first-light image of the Sun’s atmosphere and Interface Region. The first images of IRIS were taken less than one month after its launch atop a Pegasus Rocket as part of regular spacecraft commissioning that will be ongoing for the next four weeks.
NASA is getting ready to launch a new mission, a mission to observe a largely unexplored region of the solar atmosphere that powers its dynamic million-degree outer atmosphere and drives the solar wind. In late June 2013, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. IRIS will advance our understanding of the interface region, a region in the lower atmosphere of the sun where most of the sun's ultraviolet emissions are generated. Such emissions impact the near-Earth space environment and Earth's climate.