Aerospace

NASA's Decade-Long Time Lapse of the Sun

NASA 's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun, taking one every 0.75 seconds. As of June 2020, SDO has been watching the Sun non-stop for over a full decade. This information has enabled new discoveries about how the Sun influences the solar system. SDO has many instruments, and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly instrument alone captures images every 12 seconds at ten different wavelengths of light. This ten-year time lapse shows photos taken at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, which is an extreme UV wavelength that shows the Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer (the corona). Compiling one photo every hour, this video condenses a decade of the Sun's activity into just 61 minutes. Several noteworthy events take place, such as Mercury's last transit across the face of the Sun until 2032 at 57:38.