Test & Measurement
Watch the Sun Fluctuate Over Three Years in Three Minutes
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) launched in February 2010 with the goal of understanding the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth, focusing on measurements of the interior of the Sun, the Sun's magnetic field, the hot plasma of the solar corona, and the irradiance that creates the ionospheres of the planets. Since its launch, SDO has had practically unbroken coverage of the Sun's rise toward solar maximum - the peak of solar activity in its regular eleven-year cycle. This video shows those last three years at a pace of two images per day. The images were taken by SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, which images the solar atmosphere in multiple wavelengths to link changes in the surface to interior changes. Several noteworthy events briefly appear, including two partial eclipses of the sun by the moon, the largest flare of this solar cycle, comet Lovejoy, and the transit of Venus.