The Science of NASA's Newest Solar Explorer, IRIS

On June 27, 2013, NASA will launch the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), which is its newest mission to study the sun. The IRIS investigation combines advanced numerical modeling with a high-resolution UV imaging spectrograph. IRIS will show the lowest levels of the sun's atmosphere - the interface region - in more detail than has even been observed before. This will help scientists understand how the energy coming through this area helps power the sun's million-degree upper atmosphere, the corona, as well as how this energy powers the solar wind constantly streaming off the sun to fill the entire solar system. The interface region is the greatest source of ultraviolet light that impacts the earth and the space around it.