It’s always shining, always ablaze with light and energy. In the ubiquity of solar output, Earth swims in an endless tide of particles. Every time half of the Earth faces the Sun, we experience the brightness of daytime, the Sun’s energy and light driving weather, biology and more. But in space, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) keeps an eye on our nearest star 24/7. SDO captures images of the Sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material. In this video we experience images of the Sun in unprecedented detail captured by SDO. Presented in ultra-high definition video (4K) the video presents the nuclear fire of our life-giving star in intimate detail, offering new perspective into our own relationships with grand forces of the solar system.
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Using images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a new video gives an unprecedented, ultra-high-definition look at the sun using wavelengths invisible to the human eye. Video courtesy of NASA
It’s time to ignore your parents’ warnings to never stare directly at the sun.
NASA is giving you the opportunity to spend as long as you want gazing at the brightest object in our solar system this week with the release of a new video that reveals the sun — rotation, solar flares and all — in unprecedented detail. NASA says the 30-minute video “presents the nuclear fire of our life-giving star in intimate detail, offering new perspective into our own relationships with grand forces of the solar system.”
These new views of the sun were created using imagery from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The SDO has its own eyes set on the sun constantly, capturing images of the star every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths of ultraviolet light. As is described in the beginning of the video, each solar image captured by the SDO is eight times the resolution of HD video. Each of the 10 wavelengths is assigned a unique color, with every variation helping to “highlight a different temperature of solar material.”
Using sequences of images from each of the different wavelengths, a team of media specialists created varying, detailed footage of the star, with every minute of video taking the team ten hours to create. With an added score from Lars Leonhard, this video allows you to stare at the sun as long as you want without that nasty drawback of retinal burning.
Sunglasses are optional.
The Sun is always changing and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory is always watching. Launched on February 11, 2010, SDO keeps a 24-hour eye on teh entire disk of The Sun, with a prime view of hte graceful dance of solar material coursing through The Sun’s atmosphere, the corona.
SDO captures images of The Sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps nighlight a different temperature of solar material. Different temperatures can, in turn, show specific structures on The Sun such as solar flares, which are gigantic explosions of light and x-rays, or coronal loops, which are stream of solar material travelling up and down looping magnetic field lines.
Scientists study these images to better understand the complex electromagnetic system causing the constant movement on The Sun, which can ultimately have an effect closer to Earth, too. Flares and another type of solar explosion called coronal mass ejections can sometimes disrupt technology in space. Moreover, studying our closest star is one way of learning about other stars in the galaxy. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. built, operates, and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.
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