NASA has celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) by releasing a stunning time-lapse video showing the evolution of the Sun’s atmosphere over that period.
The video compresses a decade of photos into 61 minutes, with individual frames standing an hour apart from each other. Some memorable events can be spotted in the film, such as the transit of the planet Venus, which occurred on June 5, 2012.
The SDO mission has collected some 20 million gigabytes of data since its launch in February 2010. The spacecraft is circling Earth in a geosynchronous orbit and constantly monitors our star with three instruments. NASA hopes the mission will last for at least another decade.
The photos used for the time-lapse video were made by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly – a multichannel imaging device used for full-disc observations. They were shot in an extreme ultraviolet range of the spectrum well suited for studying the corona, the outermost layer of solar atmosphere.