Six years ago, NASA launched its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a mission and accompanying module designed to monitor the sun in an attempt to better understand its electromagnetic behavior and the various phenomena it impacts.
A major component of this was to capture consistent images using extreme ultraviolet imaging, a technic used due to its ability to capture the sun’s corona, an aura of plasma that encompasses the sun millions of miles into space.
Today, NASA has shared its latest video, showing the SDO’s view of the sun’s corona in action from from January 1st, 2015 to January 28th, 2016.
The six minute video is comprised mostly of the sun rotating as the million-degree plasma continually changes the landscape of the sun. Towards the middle, around the 2:50 mark, an introduction of sorts is given, explaining a few of the various solar phenomena occurring throughout the time-lapse.
You might also notice the sun expanding and shrinking in the time-lapse. This is caused by the SDO capturing the images at different distances as it orbits the Earth.
For a little bit of perspective, NASA says the SDO spacecraft transmits upwards of 1.5 terabytes of data per day; the equivalent of roughly 35,000 RAW files captured with a Canon 5D Mark III. That’s a LOT of storage.