NASA releases spectacular 10-year timelapse of the sun
TORONTO -- It’s been 10 years since NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) began watching the sun non-stop. To celebrate a decade of operations, the space agency released some incredible time-lapse footage of its solar mission.
Since 2010, the SDO has collected 425 million high-resolution images of the sun, amassing 20 million gigabytes of data. Using a variety of instruments, it was able to capture new images of the sun every 0.75 seconds for 10 years. Those images were spliced together to create the time-lapse video shown below.
A decade of sun activity was condensed into the 61-minute video which features notable events, like transiting planets and solar eruptions. The SDO was launched in February 2010 to help researchers understand the sun’s influence on Earth by studying the solar atmosphere.
While the SDO has been determined to capture every moment of the sun, there were a few instances where that wasn’t possible. The dark frames that appear in the video are caused by the Earth or moon eclipsing as they pass between the spacecraft and the sun. A temporary issue with one of the atmospheric imaging instruments led to a longer blackout in 2016.
The SDO will continue to watch the sun in the years to come and provide more insights about the sun’s effect on life on Earth.