NASA just showcased a decade of the Sun, and we’re positively mesmerized.
The agency published the stunning video last June 20 in celebration of the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s (SDO) 10 year anniversary in space. The SDO, which orbits the earth, is designed to watch the sun non-stop and has since amassed 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun; that’s 20 million gigabytes of data for the past 10 years.
These images were then condensed into a 61-minute time lapse video where each second in the short film represents a day. In a statement by NASA, they explained that the information gathered by the SDO spacecraft “has enabled countless new discoveries about the workings of our closest star and how it influences the solar system.”
Viewers may catch a glimpse of notable events on the Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer—the corona—including solar eruptions and the movement of other transiting planets orbiting the Sun.
NASA, however, does admit to the lapses in the video stating “there have been a few moments it [the SDO] missed.” Dark frames may occasionally be seen throughout the footage, signaling the Earth or Moon eclipsing the SDO. Alternatively a longer blackout may also be observed. The glitch happened in 2016 and was caused by “a temporary issue with the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument that was successfully resolved after a week. The images where the Sun is off-center were observed when SDO was calibrating its instruments,” explained NASA.
Watch the full time lapse video below.