Summer-loving NASA engineers launch SDO probe to worship the sun (video)

Say all you want about how bad your local forecast is, it's way more accurate than our local solar forecast. The last time we checked, solar storms are said to knock out GPS temporarily sometime in the next two years -- the kind of window that would make even the most suave meteorologist smirk. With the launch of the new Solar Dynamics Observatory we're hoping NASA can shrink that window down by, oh, at least a few months. The probe lifted off yesterday, perched atop an Atlas V rocket, and is now orbiting Earth. There it will study our sun with a series of optical and magnetic sensors, beaming data back at a rate of 150MBit/sec, making us ever so slightly jealous that this thing can get a better signal in space than we can down here on the surface. The launch fireworks are embedded below for those who weren't glued to NASA TV yesterday morning.

[Thanks, Pavel]