NASA unveils 10 years of solar activity in stunning time lapse video

James Marshall
June 30, 2020

The video captures the Sun over a period of 10 years into 61 minutes, compiling one photo per hour.

Now a scintillating new time-lapse video of one decade in the life of the Sun in sixty minutes was just released by NASA and it's a mesmerizing display of the star's mercurial stirrings and enormous elemental power. They were shot in an extreme ultraviolet range of the spectrum well suited for studying the corona, the outermost layer of solar atmosphere.

The SDA mission of NASA was launched in the year 2010 to understand the origin of Sun's energy.

Over the past 10 years, NASA's SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun, amassing 20 million gigabytes of data from its orbit in space around Earth.

It has been prepared from the images gathered by its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) between June 2, 2010 and June 1, 2020.

The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument, for instance, takes a snapshot in 10 different wavelengths of light every 12 seconds. To this end it was equipped with three cutting edge scientific instruments capable of probing a range of processes occurring in and around the Sun, including keeping track of its magnetic field and the nature of the stellar wind that streams throughout our solar system.

The music used in the time-lapse was composed by musician Lars Leonhard.

However, the moments when either the Earth or some other solar system body came between the Sun and the SDO image capturing device, the images could not be clicked and those moments are represented in the video by the dark frames in the video, NASA said. An instrument failure in 2016 resulted in a longer blackout.

The Sun also appears off-centre in a few images as the SDO was calibrating its instruments at the time.

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