Timelapse Video Shows Entire Year Of The Sun


NASA has released a stunning timelapse video that showcases the sun every 12 seconds for the past year, as captured by its Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) satellite.

The SDO, which was blasted into space on Feb. 11, 2010, orbits the Earth and takes pictures of the sun every day, except when the satellite is behind Earth.

The high frame rate allows scientists to study the sun's complex surface. It also gives them the ability to predict solar weather, which can damage our telecommunications satellites.

"We want to know where that space weather comes from. And the only way to do that is to know what is happening with the sun's magnetic field," said SDO scientist Dean Pesnell.

In the new video, NASA physicist Nicholeen Viall narrates through one year's worth of solar images in an epic timelapse. The imagery was captured from Jan. 1, 2015 to Jan. 28, 2016.

If your internet speed is fast enough, you can watch the video in ultra-high definition 4K: 3,840 x 2,160 and 29.97 frames per second. At this rate, the video shows one SDO image taken every two hours for the past year.

The video shows how plasma filaments actually float above the sun's surface, and how those filaments explode in a coronal mass ejection (CME).

Viewing the sun at a wavelength of 171 angstroms enables scientists to watch the ebb and flow of the sun's corona. They can see material aligning in complex ways along the lines of magnetic waves that weave through it.

Active and hot regions glow with intensity, and explosive eruptions of radiation due to the sudden release of magnetic energy is visible, too.

Gargantuan loops and filaments called prominences consisting of plasma moving along twisted magnetic field lines can also be seen in the video. At about three minutes, you can see these prominences flowing within the corona.

When the magnetic structures holding a prominence within the corona become unstable, they can explode. This propels plasma outward into space -- this is CME.

In the meantime, SDO has celebrated its sixth year in space. The SDO mission was supposed to last for five years, but it seems that the satellite is going strong.

Watch the video below.

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