For once, we will break the usual advice and tell you that you should really stare at the sun. Specifically, in NASA’s new 10-year video timelapse on solar surface activity.
Lasting 61 minutes in total, the impressive video was produced by high-resolution images captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft over the past decade. Every second on the video represents a day at the center of the solar system.
See how the crown of the Sun – the outermost part of its atmosphere – shines and burns day after day, with charged plasma particles moving up and down the surface. This is a view of the sun normally hidden from our view by its brightness.
By using a photo for each hour of observation, which covers from 2 June 201
If you want our favorite highlight, check out June 5, 2012, when Venus passes in front of the Sun – something that won’t happen until 2117. For more highlights, watch this video.
SDO collects images using a variety of wavelengths of light for its observations, collecting details and features that would otherwise be lost. An extreme ultraviolet wavelength (17.1 nanometers) was used for this video.
By capturing an image once every 0.75 seconds, SDO has accumulated the staggering 425 million photos since its launch on February 11, 2010, for a total of 20 million gigabytes of data and enough to fill countless photo albums .
We are able to thank the spaceship for identifying magnetic flares and solar flares on the surface of the Sun and keeping track of this activity is crucial to understand more about how the Sun works and what its effects are on the rest of the Solar System.
As crucial as the sun is to life on our planet, there is still a lot we don’t understand about it, including the behavior of its crown. Comments such as those made by SDO should help us get answers faster.
Don’t be alarmed if you suddenly see that the Sun disappears from view in the video by the way – it’s the Earth, the Moon or both standing in the way, or it’s the result of the temporary problem that the SDO had with its tools in 2016.
If the timelapse video has more stimulated your appetite, please take a look at NASA’s official page for the Solar Dynamics Observatory. You can see the current view from the spaceship, find out where it is currently in the sky, see some of the best shots that has ever been captured and more.
As for us, we will go back to the beginning of the timelapse and look at everything again.