NASA is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory or SDO. During the five years the SDO has been looking at the sun, it has taken some stunning images of our star. Since February 11, 2010, the SDO has been providing scientists incredibly clear images of the sun at a rate of more than one image per second.
The ability to take high-resolution images quickly has allowed the scientists to use the images to study how explosions on the sun grow and erupt. Part of the anniversary celebration includes NASA putting together a video of some of the highlights from the SDO’s last five years on mission.
NASA also put together a cool image mosaic that makes the number “5” using images taken by the SDO. The spacecraft is able to observe the sun in different wavelengths of light giving a glimpse at different temperatures on the sun. This data lets the scientists get a better idea of what exactly causes eruptions on the sun’s surface.
Scientists are also trying to learn what makes the sun’s magnetic fields constantly move. The video is absolutely worth a watch; the sun looks like an orange-yellow ball from Earth, but is completely different up close.