NASA has released a new timelapse titled “A Decade of Sun,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Using 425 million images captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) since it began monitoring the sun in 2010, NASA has created a timelapse of the sun in which every second represents one day.
The final creation (see above) runs for a full hour, showing every day of our sun’s existence between June 2nd, 2010 and June 2nd 2020.
“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,” explains NASA. “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.”
Interestingly, there are a few dark frames in the video. This, explains NASA, is the result of the Earth or the Moon eclipsing the Solar Dynamics Observatory as they pass between the orbiting spacecraft and the Sun. There’s also an “extended” blackout in 2016 that was caused by a technical issue that took NASA one week to fix.
Other than those relatively short blackouts, what you above is every single day of our sun’s existence for the past 10 years… almost a full 11-year solar cycle.
Check out the full timelapse above to experience A Decade of Sun for yourself, and if you want to learn more about what it is you’re looking at, head over to the NASA website for an in-depth explanation of the imaging tech aboard the SDO.