NASA has released an hour-long video, titled “A Decade of Sun,” comprised of more than 400 million photographs of the sun taken every day over the last 10 years by the Solar Dynamics Observatory.
The Goddard Space Flight Center, which developed the SDO spacecraft, announced on June 24 that “from its orbit in space around Earth, SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the sun, amassing 20 million gigabytes of data over the past 10 years. This information has enabled countless new discoveries about the workings of our closest star and how it influences the solar system.”
NASA adds that “with a triad of instruments, SDO captures an image of the sun every 0.75 seconds. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument alone captures images every 12 seconds at 10 different wavelengths of light…. Compiling one photo every hour, the movie condenses a decade of the sun into 61 minutes. The video shows the rise and fall in activity that occurs as part of the sun’s 11-year solar cycle and notable events, like transiting planets and eruptions.”
The agency notes that there were “a few moments it missed,” due to issues with the instruments, eclipses caused by the Earth and the moon, and some instances where the sun is off-center due to the SDO “calibrating its instruments.”
The video features music by Lars Leonhard.
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