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Nasa releases time lapse footage of the sun from 2010 to 2020

The agency took 425 million high-resolution images over a decade

Adam Smith
Tuesday 30 June 2020 08:03 BST
10 year timelapse of the sun

Nasa has released a timelapse of the Sun, documenting its changes over the past decade.

The space agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been watching our nearest star for ten years as of June 2020.

It took 425 million high-resolution images every 0.75 seconds, which amounted to 20 million gigabytes of data.

The video, which lasts for one hour, shows notable events including transiting planets and eruptions, Nasa says.

One photo from every hour of footage was used to make the video, which is dated between 2 June 2010 and 1 June 2020.

As of writing, the video has 1.7 million views since it was uploaded in 24 June.

The photos were taken at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, which shows the Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer, called the corona.

However, while the SDO has been focused on the sun for the whole decades, there are moments when the video cuts for a split second.

This is caused by the Earth or the Moon eclipsing the SDO as they pass between the craft and the Sun.

A longer blackout, in 2016, was due to a week-long issue with the instrument.

Images where the sun is off-centre show when the SDO was calibrating its instruments.

This is not the only time-lapse video that Nasa has released; in 2016, the agency showed Mercury moving past the Sun.

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