For a decade, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been staring firmly at our sun, and perhaps it’s not advisable to stare directly at the nearest star to Earth, but it’s perfectly desirable to watch NASA’s new time-lapse video — showing how the sun has changed over the decade, according tomedia reports. SDO orbits the Earth, and its goal is only one: to figure out how solar activity shapes the entire solar system.
The SDO was launched on February 11, 2020. In fact, it is a three-in-one instrument, starting with the Extreme Ultraviolet Change Experiment (EVE) device, which tracks the sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation, which is the main cause of heating the Earth’s atmosphere.
Then there is the Solar Magnetic Imager (HMI), which measures the sun’s magnetic field at high resolution. This helps scientists understand how the physical processes inside the star manifest themselves in the surface magnetic field and its activities. Finally, there is the Atmospheric Imaging Component (AIA), which monitors the sun’s entire disk through seven extreme ultraviolet channels.
The SDO’s main mission was expected to last five years, but NASA later hoped it would last at least another five years. Finally, the milestone was reached in June 2020. It is understood that the 10-year data totaled 20 million gigabytes, including 425 million high-resolution images. In fact, SDO instruments capture an image of the sun every 0.75 seconds.
The video will be posted later…
Now, these images are integrated into a fascinating time-lapse video.
In the video, you can see how the planets pass through the sun and how huge volcanic eruptions wreak havoc on the sun’s constantly rotating surface. In addition, huge plasma waves can be seen orbiting stars at 3 million miles per hour.
As long as the instrument is in a normal working state, the SDO will continue to observe. In fact, NASA believes it is possible to make a second decade of observations. However, a joint mission by NASA and the European Space Agency, the new Solar Orbiter, will also be added. It will have an oblique orbit, so the advantage is that it can better observe the polar regions of the sun. In this way, the two missions can also work together to capture 3D images of the stars and the structure beneath their surfaces.