Stunning Video: 3 Years Of The Sun In 3 Minutes

NPR | April 25, 2013 6:37 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

This is a composite of 25 separate images spanning the period of April 16, 2012, to April 15, 2013. In a video, NASA has also collected three year's worth of such images and set them in a new video.

This is a composite of 25 separate images spanning the period of April 16, 2012, to April 15, 2013. In a video, NASA has also collected three year's worth of such images and set them in a new video.

NASA/SDO/AIA/S

We all deserve a break from the past week’s news. This NASA video could be just the right thing.

According to the space agency, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) “captures a shot of the sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths.” The video features images from the past three years, “at a pace of two images per day.”

NASA adds that:

“There are several noteworthy events that appear briefly in this video. They include the two partial eclipses of the sun by the moon, two roll maneuvers [by the observatory, as it changes position], the largest flare of this solar cycle, comet Lovejoy, and the transit of Venus. The specific time for each event is listed below, but a sharp-eyed observer may see some while the video is playing.

— “00:30;24 Partial eclipse by the moon

— “00:31;16 Roll maneuver

— “01:11;02 August 9, 2011 X6.9 Flare, currently the largest of this solar cycle

— “01:28;07 Comet Lovejoy, December 15, 2011

— “01:42;29 Roll Maneuver

— “01:51;07 Transit of Venus, June 5, 2012

— “02:28;13 Partial eclipse by the moon”

New York’s Daily News calls the video “mesmerizing.” The Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang says it’s “dazzling.” Gizmodo goes with “gorgeous.”

(H/T to Huff Post Science.)

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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