NASA releases stunning year long solar time-lapse video
NASA has released a stunning time-lapse video of our Sunconstructed from images collected by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) over the courseof its sixth year in space. The Ultra-HD quality video was recordedin the extreme ultraviolet spectrum.
The SDO was launched onFeb. 11, 2010 with a mission to maintain a near constant watch onour parent star, allowing us to gain a deeper appreciation of thecomplex electromagnetic processes prevailing in the atmosphere of theSun. Our star's strong electromagnetic properties have the ability tointerfere with modern day technology by creating flares and eventsknown as coronal mass ejections.
The video is comprisedof observations taken between Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 28, 2016. Duringthis time, the SDO snapped a picture of our Sun once every 12 secondsacross a wide range of wavelengths with its Atmospheric ImagingAssembly (AIA).
The extreme ultravioletlight captured by the SDO is ordinarily invisible to the naked eye,with a wavelength of around 171 angstrums, which highlights solaractivity with a temperature of around 600,000 kelvin (1,079,540º F).
When played on its highest quality the video boasts a frame rate of29.97 fps, with each frame representing a two hour period with aresolution of 3,840 x 2,160. The incredible detailconveyed in the video allows the viewer to observe a number ofstellar phenomena. Dark filaments can be seen suspended in the coronaby twisted magnetic fields, occasionally erupting in titanic coronalmass ejections.
There are also a numberof instances where the Sun disappears altogether for a frame, ormoves off center. These are the result of the SDO's orbit around ourplanet, which sometimes places Earth between the spaceship and theSun, a planned maneuver designed to point the delicate instrumentsaway from our star for calibration purposes.
The time-lapse video courtesy of NASA can be seen below.