NASA releases year-long time lapse video of the sun

NASA released a time-lapse video of the Sun in all its glory. It has compressed 393 days of sun’s activity taken by the Solar Dynamic Observatory. The images are of a Period From January 1, 2015, to January 28, 2016, when the SDO snapped a picture every 12 seconds.

These images help scientists to understand the electromagnetic system which causes constant upheavals on the surface of the sun, affecting Earth.

The Solar Dynamic Observatory is a satellite which has been orbiting the Earth and took a snap of the Sun every 12 seconds except when it is in the Earth’s shadow. The SDO was launched on February 11, 2010, as a part of the Living With a Star or the LWS project.

The aim of the LWS project is to understand the influence of the Sun on the Earth and the near-Earth space. It envisages studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time in many wavelengths as possible.

It seeks to understand how the magnetic energy is generated and how it is stored in the sun is released into the heliosphere and geospace in the form of solar wind, energetic particles, and variations in the solar irradiance.

The extremely high frame rate allows NASA to observe the sun’s dynamic surface which in turn helps scientists to predict solar weather like sun spot activities which can damage the communication and other satellites in the geosynchronous orbit.

In the video released by NASA, a year’s solar images have been sped up many times in fascinating time-lapse photography. The images are shot in extreme ultraviolet wavelength, a wavelength which is not visible to human eyes.

However viewing the sun in this wavelength reveals the sun’s hot spots of magnetic energy. The image shows, for example how long filaments of plasma float over the solar surface. These filaments explode and can be seen as a mass of coronal ejection.

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