NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been watching the Sun non-stop for over 10-years, as of June 2020. SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun, amassing 20 million gigabytes of data, from its orbit in space around Earth. This gathered information has allowed for countless new discoveries about the workings of our closest star and how it influences the solar system.
With a multitude of instruments, the Solar Dynamics Observatory captures an image of the Sun every 0.75 seconds, with the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument alone capturing images every 12 seconds at 10 different wavelengths of light. What you see in this time-lapse are photos taken at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, or an extreme ultraviolet wavelength that shows the Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer.
- Compact grab-and-go telescope designed for entry-level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts
- Substantial 4.5" aperture and fast f/4 focal ratio provides bright, detailed views of solar system targets like the Moon and planets, as well as...
- Low-profile swivel base ships pre-assembled, provides smooth altazimuth motion for easy manual targeting and tracking of celestial objects
The dark frames in the video are caused by Earth or the Moon eclipsing SDO as they pass between the spacecraft 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. The images where the Sun is off-center were observed when SDO was calibrating its instruments. SDO and other NASA missions will continue to watch our Sun in the years to come, providing further insights about our place in space and information to keep our astronauts and assets safe,” said NASA.