In honour of the 100th Birthday of Kees de Jager, prominent Dutch astronomer and one of our favorite solar physicists, the EUI instrument onboard Solar Orbiter took a pair of images in two different wavelengths. The images were taken in the very early morning of April 29, at 00:19:21 and 00:20:21 CEST representing the years 1921 and 2021. These two images were sent back to earth with high priority, travelling over 135 million kilometers through our solar system as low-latency telemetry, when they were collected by the New Norcia Station in Australia which is part of the ESA deep space network. Via the Solar Orbiter Mission Operations Centre in Darmstadt in Germany, the data finally arrived at the EUI Data Centre at the Royal Observatory of Belgium from where the EUI instrument was commanded and all images sent by the satellite to Earth are processed such that scientists can work with them.

Birthday card Kees with an exercise on bad pixel correction

At first glance, as pretty as these images are, they look like what we expect. But by cleverly making use of a feature that is typically used to help calibrate the images on-board, the EUI team commanded their instrument to include a watermark inside these two images. When filtering these images for vertical features, the watermark ‘100’ clearly becomes visible.

Kees, while preparing your birthday card, our bad pixel correction functionality became fully commissioned :-)

Happy Birthday!