NASA has released a stunning 10-year time-lapse video of the Sun, condensing a decade of activity into one hour. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been watching the Sun non-stop for over a full decade. While orbiting around the Earth, SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun, NASA said in a statement while releasing the time-lapse footage.
The time-lapse footage shows the rise and fall in activity that occurs as part of the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle and has helped scientists understand more about the workings of our closest star and how it influences the solar system. According to NASA, the Sun’s magnetic field goes through a cycle, called the solar cycle. Every 11 years or so, the Sun’s magnetic field completely flips and its north and south poles switch places.
“Compiling one photo every hour, the movie condenses a decade of the Sun into 61 minutes,” wrote NASA while sharing the video. Titled ‘A Decade of Sun’, the video has collected over 6 lakh views on YouTube since being released on Wednesday.
“This is utterly incredible,” wrote one person in the comments section.
“That’s insane – almost looks unreal,” another wrote.
NASA said the time-lapse images are taken at the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 17.1 nanometres to capture the outer atmosphere.
The organisation also explained that the dark frames in the video were caused by Earth or the Moon eclipsing SDO as they pass between the spacecraft and the Sun. An instrument failure in 2016 resulted in a longer blackout.
In 2016, NASA had also released a time-lapse of Mercury zipping past the Sun in a rare transit.