NASA launches sun observation mission

February 11, 2010 11:46:30 AM PST
NASA's Atlas V rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Thursday on a first of its kind mission to study the sun.

The rocket is carrying the solar dynamics observatory that will take high definition pictures of the sun. Scientists say those pictures will help them forecast space weather like solar flares and solar wind.

Solar flares can knock out satellites, power grids and global positioning system signals that can affect communication and air traffic controllers.