Photo: NASA

NASA Releases Epic 10-Year Timelapse of the Sun

News Astronomy
by Eben Diskin Jun 30, 2020

Over the past decade, from June 1, 2010, to June 2, 2020, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has been watching the sun nonstop, capturing 425 million high-resolution images of the star. From those images, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration selected one picture taken every hour by SDO and compiled them into a 61-minute video, with each second representing approximately one day.

The timelapse showcases the sun’s outer atmospheric layer, called the corona. It gives you a rare, close-up view of solar activity like solar flares (see minute 6:20, i.e. June 7, 2011) and the transit of Venus across the face of the star (see minute 12:24 , i.e. June 5, 2012), an event that won’t happen again before 2117. You may also be able to see the sun resembling a Jack o’ lantern on minute 26:39, i.e. Oct. 8, 2014. Below is a photo of the event.

Photo: NASA

If you notice dark frames in the video, they’re likely caused by Earth or the moon passing between the satellite and the sun. There’s also another noticeable, prolonged dark spot in the video, which was caused by a week-long issue with the camera in 2016.

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