NASA releases stunning 10-year time-lapse of the Sun

SDO Composite Image

In a stunning hour-long video, NASA's sun-pointing semi-autonomous spacecraft, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, has put together a time lapse of its 10 years of observing the Sun. The collected data allowed us to obtain some new information about the main star of the Solar system.

United States space agency NASA has put out a time lapse video of the Sun squeezing a decade's time into one hour.

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.

"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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Titled "A Decade of Sun", the video was released on Wednesday. The sun's quiescence wasn't a surprise; every 11 years or so, the sun's magnetic poles suddenly switch places; North becomes South, solar magnetic activity begins to wane, and the sun's surface starts to look like a tranquil sea of yellow fire.

The video covers nearly the entire 11-year stretch of our star's solar cycle, documenting notable events, like transiting planets and eruptions.

Intent on making the moment of the release of the time lapse video memorable and impressionable, the space agency also commissioned a music director to design a special music to be played in the background in the video. Since launching in February 2010, the NASA probe has documented the Sun with daily high-resolution photography. The darkish frames in the video are prompted by Earth or the Moon eclipsing SDO as they pass involving the spacecraft and the solar.

A longer blackout in 2016 was caused by a temporary issue with one of the SDO's instruments, which was resolved after a week. Occasional frames where the Sun disappears entirely or appears off center represent periods during which the probe was forced to take a quick break from stargazing in order to re calibrate its delicate instruments.

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