New Time-lapse From NASA Shows 10 Years of the Sun's Orbit Compiled of 425 Million Photos

A new time-lapse released by NASA showcases 10 years of images of the Sun — 425 million of them, to be exact. Condensed into a time-lapse, the hour-long video consists of one photo of the Sun every day between June 2nd, 2010 and June 2nd, 2020.

Appropriately titled “A Decade of Sun,” the finished product is a result of images taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) for the past decade.

NASA said:

From its orbit in space around Earth, SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun, amassing 20 million gigabytes of data over the past 10 years. Compiling one photo every hour, the movie condenses a decade of the Sun into 61 minutes. The video shows the rise and fall in activity that occurs as part of the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle and notable events, like transiting planets and eruptions.

One sensation that you’ll also spot in the clip is significantly dark frames, which NASA explains are caused by the Earth or Moon eclipsing the SDO while they move between the orbiting spacecraft and the Sun. At least, for the most part; there’s one instance where a technical fault took the feed out for a whole week back in 2016 while NASA rushed to fix it.

Experience the time-lapse in its entirety above. The NASA website also offers a more detailed account of the tech used by the SDO to capture the imagery.

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7 Comments

Just me's picture

It's a great video.
I'm just wondering how many person stays in front of it for an hour...

Matthias Kirk's picture

I always wondered what timescale we were looking at in videos of solar flares. Now I know. Eye opening!

Michael Yearout's picture

Absolutely fascinating to see what a star look like form that close. It gives you the feeling for how it pluses, flares and a sense of the immense power it is radiating.

Cool Cat's picture

It's mind boggling to imagine how long the sun has been burning. And how many, million, billion, trillion, tons of fuel burned.

Just me's picture

Fuel! Are you sure?
You do understand their is not enough oxygen there to burn anything?
.
Never heard of thermonuclear fusion?

Cool Cat's picture

I'm not a rocket scientist so I'm not sure of anything. But it sure is burning a lot of something.

Michael Yearout's picture

Thermonuclear fusion is the process that occurs when two atoms combine to make a larger atom, creating a whole lot of energy. Fusion already happens naturally in stars — including the sun — when intense pressure and heat fuse hydrogen atoms together, generating helium and energy.