On the fifth anniversary of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the space agency has released a spectacular time-lapse video revealing the Sun’s activities since 2010, showing its changing surface.
The video footage includes highlights of the dancing giant loops hovering over our star’s corona, as well as solar flares being thrust into space from the Sun’s surface in the form of X-rays, energy and light.
One can see the Sun changing colour, which NASA says is due to different wavelengths of visible light, ultraviolet light and extreme ultraviolet light.
The time-lapse video is a chronologically-consecutive compilation of 200 million consecutive images of the sun taken over a five-year period.
The SDO’s time-lapse video shows the Sun’s activities over the last five years. (Image: NASA)
According to the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the video created an “unprecedentedly clear picture” of how the Sun’s surface changes over time.
“The imagery is captivating, allowing one to watch the constant ballet of solar material through the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona.”
“By watching the sun in different wavelengths – and therefore different temperatures – scientists can watch how material courses through the corona.”
Launched in February 2010, the SDO was created to help scientists better understand the Sun’s variability over time.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory is a NASA mission which has been observing the Sun since 2010. (Image: Wikipedia)
By watching our Sun in all the different wavelengths, scientists are given clues as to why its corona (the extended outer atmosphere) is nearly 1,000 times hotter than its surface, why its magnetic fields are constantly moving, and how material courses through the corona.
NASA Video – SDO: Year 5