NASA's newest Sun watcher spacecraft is safely in orbit after being launched on June 26th at 10:27 p.m. EDT from an Orbital Science's L-1011 aircraft at 39,000 feet and then placed into orbit aboard an Orbital Science's Pegasus rocket.
The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) is designed to zero in on the interface region of the Sun that marks the region between the photosphere (the visible ball of the Sun) and the corona - the million-degree plus atmosphere of the Sun.
This interface region is not understood and IRIS is designed to make detailed telescopic and spectral observations of small areas of the Sun, unlike the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) which images the entire Sun and large regions.
I am really looking forward to the observations and data that IRIS will produce.
Read More About It: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/iris/index.html#.Uc8CTJUbTFI
Sky Guy in VA