Thursday, 02 July, 2020

NASA video shows 10-year time lapse of Sun in 61 minutes

Illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the Sun Illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the Sun
Sandy Nunez | 28 June, 2020, 20:11

Since launching in February 2010, the NASA probe has documented the Sun with daily high-resolution photography.

SDO is created to help us understand the Sun's influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

NASA has released a time-lapse video of our Sun that condenses 10 full years of solar observations into a gorgeous 61 minute movie.

The SDO mission of NASA was launched in the year 2010 to understand the origin of Sun's energy, how the inside of the Sun works, and how energy is stored and released in the Sun's atmosphere. Standing guard in an inclined geosynchronous orbit in space around Earth, it has massed over 20 million gigabytes of data over the last ten years and enabled countless discoveries about the intricate workings of our 4.6 billion-year-old star and how it influences the entire solar system.

"The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly instrument alone captures images every 12 seconds at 10 different wavelengths of light", NASA said in a statement.

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NASA said the time-lapse images are taken at the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 17.1 nanometres to capture the outer atmosphere.

And though NASA's SDO has watched the Sun without respite for 10 years, there are notable anomalies during the time-lapse. According to NASA, the Sun's magnetic field goes through a cycle, called the solar cycle.

You can see throughout the time-lapse the rise and fall in activity that occurs during an 11-year solar cycle.

A few dark frames are caused by the Moon or Earth briefly eclipsing the Sun. A longer blackout in 2016 was caused by a temporary issue with the AIA instrument that was successfully resolved after a week. Musician Lars Leonhard was on board to compose the theme titled 'Solar Observer'.