The Iris satellite will observe a little-studied region of the sun that emits ultraviolet light. Scientists hope examining the sun's lower atmosphere would help them learn more about how this region drives solar wind and powers the corona, the sun's outer atmosphere seen during eclipses.
Iris carries a UV telescope that can take high-resolution images every few seconds. It's scheduled to be launched on June 26 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on California's central coast. Once in orbit, it will circle about 400 miles above the Earth.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.