The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has now captured nearly seven years worth of ultra-high resolution solar footage.
This time-lapse shows that full run from two of SDO’s instruments.
CREDIT: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO, Music: “Web of Intrigue” from Killer Tracks.
The large orange sun is visible light captured by HMI. The smaller golden sun is extreme ultraviolet light from AIA and reveals some of the suns atmosphere, the corona. Both appear at one frame every 12 hours.
SDO’s nearly unbroken run is now long enough to watch the rise and fall of the current solar cycle.
The graph of solar activity shows the sunspot number, a measurement based on the number of individual spots and the number of sunspot groups. In this case, the line represents a smoothed 26-day average to more clearly show the overall trend.