This breathtaking image is a result of composing 25 separate images of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory from April 16, 2012, to April 15, 2013 made by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly where the sun is captured every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The work presented here is based on a wavelength of 171 angstroms, which is in the extreme ultraviolet range and shows solar material at around 600,000 kelvins (about 1.08 million F). The result image is extremely stable despite the fact that SDO orbits Earth at 6,876 mph and Earth orbits the sun at 67,062 mph.
The images have regularly caught solar flares and coronal mass ejections in the act, types of space weather that can send radiation and solar material toward Earth and interfere with satellites in space. SDO’s glimpses into the violent dance on the sun help scientists understand what causes these giant explosions — with the hopes of some day improving our ability to predict this space weather.
NASA‘s SDO also revealed a video which captures three years of the sun’s activity at a pace of two images per day starting from the spring 2010. There is a slight change in size of the sun during the video due to the distance variations between the SDO spacecraft and the sun.