What are you doing this weekend? Please answer “Watching an hour-long NASA time-lapse video showing an entire decade of the sun.” You won’t regret it.
NASA released a truly epic video on Wednesday that compiles 10 years of the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s views of our star. Each second represents a day, and it takes over an hour to travel across time from June 2, 2010 to June 1, 2020.
The SDO spacecraft is able to safely view the sun and pay witness to its moods, outbursts and stretches of relative calm. The video celebrates SDO’s decade of observations since it launched in 2010.
“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,” NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.
If you spot a moment when the video goes dark, don’t worry. Those happen when the Earth or moon get in the way of SDO’s view. There was also a technical glitch in 2016 that created a brief camera blackout.
Keep an eye out for scenic outbursts and eclipse action when you can see a bite of black moving across the sun’s disc. When the star bounces around, it’s just an artifact from the instrument calibration process.
The appropriately space-y music track from composer Lars Leonhard is called Solar Observer. The whole video experience is mesmerizing. This may well be the movie event of the summer.