New NASA telescope scours sun in 'grand opening'

July 25, 2013 6:40:55 PM PDT
NASA is getting a close-up look at the sun thanks to help from Bay Area researchers.

New images were released Thursday by NASA thanks to the IRIS spacecraft, which is providing detailed pictures of the sun.

The telescope launched last month. And last week it began taking pictures of the sun in never-before-seen details. The early results were hailed by the research team as exciting.

NASA's science mission directorate chief, former astronaut John Grunsfeld, says it's "a grand opening of a new era in solar physics."

IRIS is short for Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph. The mission, based out of Moffett Field, will continue for the next two years. Scientists say the observations will help shed light on the sun's impact on Earth.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)


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