NASA’s Watched the Sun for a Decade and This Hour-Long Video Proves It

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This image shows the sun as seen from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, which began watching the star in June 2010. (NASA Goddard)

Since people don’t have the ability to stare at the sun, NASA’s got your covered, and has been staring at the star in the middle of our solar system for a decade now.

That’s because the Solar Dynamics Observatory got to work in June 2010.

The SDO launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Feb. 11, 2010, and began its observation work a few months later. Developed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the SDO orbits the Earth at 6,876 mph and Earth orbits the sun at 67,062 mph and watches the sun mostly nonstop.

Goddard put a video of the SDO’s observations in an 61-minute video set to new-age music on its YouTube channel to celebrate the decade of work.

Goddard reported the SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the sun totaling more than 20 million gigabytes.

“This information has enabled countless new discoveries about the workings of our closest star and how it influences the solar system,” the video description reads.

The video uses highlights from the 10-year-long mission, showing images taken at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, an extreme ultraviolet wavelength that shows the sun’s corona, Goddard stated. It’s a condensation of one image for every hour, showing most of what Goddard said is an 11-year solar cycle for the state.

The music accompanying the show is titled “Solar Observer” by Lars Leonhard.

Some of the video shows moments the SDO couldn’t see the sun. The dark spots are from when the Earth or moon are in between the SDO and its muse.

Goddard lists several notable moments from the observation by time code on its YouTube post at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3QQQu7QLoM

The entire mission is tracked at http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov.

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This article is written by Richard Tribou from The Orlando Sentinel and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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