NASA video shows 10-year time lapse of Sun in 61 minutes

James Marshall
June 28, 2020

In these 10 years, the SDO has accumulated more than 20 million gigabytes of data for scientists to analyse.

Since 2010, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has diligently observed our warming star and delivered back to its mission control ground team a wealth of astonishing images of the shining object in never-seen detail.

In the stunning video, titled "A Decade of Sun", astronomers compiled 425 million high-definition images of the sun, snapped once every 0.75 seconds between June 2, 2010 and June 1, 2020. The video might also offer other insights about the closest star and its influence over the solar system.

Equipped with a trio of sensitive instruments, the SDO's brilliant ten-year time lapse short spotlights photos taken at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, which is an extreme ultraviolet wavelength that unveils the Sun's outermost atmospheric layer, the shimmering corona.

For the goal of the time-lapse, NASA compiled a photo of the Sun taken every hour down to a 60-minute video.

"The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly instrument alone captures images every 12 seconds at 10 different wavelengths of light", NASA said in a statement. According to NASA, the magnetic fields are under constant flux and they keep altering to the extent that at the end of the 11 year solar cycle, the North pole of the Sun turns into the South and vice versa.

Eagle-eyed viewers might also catch transiting planets and solar eruptions. The music was composed by Lars Leonhard.

What does 10 years mean to our 4.6 billion-year-old sun? A longer blackout in 2016 was caused by a temporary issue with the AIA instrument that was successfully resolved after a week. Occasional frames where the Sun disappears entirely or appears off center represent periods during which the probe was forced to take a quick break from stargazing in order to re calibrate its delicate instruments.

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