NASA's 10-year time-lapse of Sun leaves netizens awestruck

The video shows an entire decade of activity on the Sun in the span of a single episode of, well, name your favorite television series.

The NASA time-lapse is compiled from a collection of some 425 million photographs taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). According to NASA, this information has facilitated astronomers in making various discoveries about the inner workings of our Sun and their effect on the solar system. Since launching in February 2010, the NASA probe has documented the Sun with daily high-resolution photography.

In the post's caption the agency wrote that "NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory - SDO - has now been watching the Sun non-stop for over a full decade".

SDO is equipped with three instruments, the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), EUV Variability Experiment (EVE) and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI).

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

During this cycle, the Sun swings between so-called solar minimums and solar maximums that see more or fewer sunspots and solar flares. The sun's quiescence wasn't a surprise; every 11 years or so, the sun's magnetic poles suddenly switch places; North becomes South, solar magnetic activity begins to wane, and the sun's surface starts to look like a tranquil sea of yellow fire.

Although the SDO has been focused directly at the sun for the past decade, the video has some dark frames caused by the Earth or the moon passing between the satellite and the sun. A longer blackout in 2016 was caused by a temporary issue with the AIA instrument that was successfully resolved after a week.

NASA has been recorded the Sun for over 10 years now, and to celebrate that achievement it has released a 10-year time-lapse video.

The custom music for the video is titled "Solar Observer" and has been composed by Lars Leonhard.



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