NASA just released this scorching new video chronicling the life of our stunning yellow star as observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) from Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 28, 2016. First launched on Feb. 11, 2010, SDO is an orbital observatory that keeps a vigilant eye and sensitive instruments trained on the entire disk of the sun. This hypnotic new compilation of the sun's flaring atmosphere and shimmering corona burning at a million degrees represents the SDO's complete sixth year of operation.
Here's the official description from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center:
SDO’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) captures a shot of the sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The images shown here are based on a wavelength of 171 angstroms, which is in the extreme ultraviolet range and shows solar material at around 600,000 kelvins (about 1,079,540 degrees F). In this wavelength it is easy to see the sun’s 25-day rotation.
During the course of the video, the sun subtly increases and decreases in apparent size. This is because the distance between the SDO spacecraft and the sun varies over time. The image is, however, remarkably consistent and stable despite the fact that SDO orbits Earth at 6,876 mph, and Earth orbits the sun at 67,062 mph.
Reach for your Ray-Bans and soak in this scintillating video diary of our beautiful sun.