In an astonishing hour, NASA’s semi-autonomous spacecraft, directed toward the sun, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, put together a time span of 10 years of solar observation.
Over the past 10 years, the spacecraft has collected 425 million images of the Sun in high resolution, collecting 20 million gigabytes of data, NASA said.
This ten-year time lapse shows photographs taken at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, which is an extreme ultraviolet wavelength that shows the farthest solar atmospheric layer – the corona.
Composing one photo every hour, the film condenses a decade of the Sun into 61 minutes.
The video shows the rise and fall of activities occurring as part of the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle and observed events, such as planetary transits and eruptions.
The video was viewed by hundreds of thousands of people on YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms.
The data collected by SDO in the last 10 years has enabled several new discoveries about the work of the Sun and how it affects the solar system.
With a triad of instruments, the SDO captures an image of the Sun every 0.75 seconds.
The Asospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument captures images every 12 seconds at 10 different wavelengths of light.
As the SDO kept its non-blinking eyes on the Sun, there were a few moments that missed, NASA said.
The dark frames in the image are caused by the Earth or Moon eclipsing the SDO as they pass between the spacecraft and the Sun.
A longer shutdown in 2016 caused a temporary problem with the AIA instrument that was successfully resolved after a week.
Images in which the Sun is not in the center are observed as the SDO calibrates its instruments.
SDO was launched on February 11, 2010.