Skip all navigation and jump to content Jump to site navigation Jump to section navigation.
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center + Visit NASA.gov
HOME PROJECTS RESOURCES SEARCH MAP

+ Advanced Search
Home
Home
View Most Recently Released Imagery
View Gallery of Imagery: A topical collection of SVS Imagery
Search Imagery by the keywords assigned to it
Search Imagery by the instruments that supplied data for a visualization product
Search Imagery by the series of visualizations that have been produced
Search Imagery by the scientist providing the data used in a visualization product
Search Imagery by the animator that created the product
Search Imagery by the identification number assigned to the visualization product
See other search options





  + RSS Feeds
  + Podcasts
blank image
Previous Animation Number   Next Animation Number
SDO Solar Comparison October 2010 to October 2012

The sun goes through a natural solar cycle approximately every 11 years. The cycle is marked by the increase and decrease of sunspots -- visible as dark blemishes on the sun's surface, or photosphere. The greatest number of sunspots in any given solar cycle is designated as "solar maximum." The lowest number is "solar minimum."

The solar cycle provides more than just increased sunspots, however. In the sun's atmosphere, or corona, bright active regions appear, which are rooted in the lower sunspots. Scientists track the active regions since they are often the origin of eruptions on the sun such as solar flares or coronal mass ejections.

The most recent solar minimum occurred in 2008, and the sun began to ramp up in January 2010, with an M-class flare (a flare that is 10 times less powerful than the largest flares, labeled X-class). The sun has continued to get more active, with the next solar maximum predicted for 2013.

The journey toward solar maximum is evident in current images of the sun, showing a marked difference from those of 2010, with bright active regions dotted around the star.

Share: Share via E-mail E-mail   Share on TwitterTwitter
More information on this topic available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/solarmin-max.html

The picture on the left shows a calm sun from Oct. 2010. The right side, from Oct. 2012, shows a much more active and varied solar atmosphere as the sun moves closer to peak solar activity, or solar maximum, predicted for 2013. Both images were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observing light emitted from the 1 million degree plasma, which is a good temperature for observing the quiet corona.    The picture on the left shows a calm sun from Oct. 2010. The right side, from Oct. 2012, shows a much more active and varied solar atmosphere as the sun moves closer to peak solar activity, or solar maximum, predicted for 2013. Both images were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observing light emitted from the 1 million degree plasma, which is a good temperature for observing the quiet corona.

Available formats:
  4096 x 2048     TIFF     18 MB
  4096 x 2048     JPEG       6 MB
  4096 x 2048     JPEG       1 MB
  2048 x 1024     JPEG   468 KB
  320 x 180         JPEG     17 KB


Comparison of solar activity as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in October 2010 and October 2012.  The wavelength of these images is 171 Ångströms.    Comparison of solar activity as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in October 2010 and October 2012. The wavelength of these images is 171 Ångströms.

Available formats:
  4096 x 4096     TIFF     36 MB
  4096 x 4096     JPEG     10 MB
  4096 x 4096     JPEG       2 MB
  2048 x 2048     JPEG   763 KB
  1024 x 1024     JPEG   234 KB


The picture on the left shows a calm sun from Oct. 2010. The right side, from Oct. 2012, shows a much more active and varied solar atmosphere as the sun moves closer to peak solar activity, or solar maximum, predicted for 2013. Both images were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observing light emitted from the 1 million degree plasma, which is a good temperature for observing the quiet corona.  No Labels.    The picture on the left shows a calm sun from Oct. 2010. The right side, from Oct. 2012, shows a much more active and varied solar atmosphere as the sun moves closer to peak solar activity, or solar maximum, predicted for 2013. Both images were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observing light emitted from the 1 million degree plasma, which is a good temperature for observing the quiet corona. No Labels.

Available formats:
  4096 x 2048     JPEG       1 MB
  4096 x 2048     TIFF     18 MB


SDO October Comparison split image, No Labels.    SDO October Comparison split image, No Labels.

Available formats:
  4096 x 4096     JPEG       2 MB
  4096 x 4096     TIFF     36 MB


SDO 171 Ångström image from Oct 6, 2010    SDO 171 Ångström image from Oct 6, 2010

Available formats:
  4096 x 4096     JPEG       2 MB


SDO 171 Ångström image from October 20, 2012    SDO 171 Ångström image from October 20, 2012

Available formats:
  4096 x 4096     JPEG       2 MB

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11072
Animation Number:11072
Completed:2012-11-06
Animator:Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Producer:Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Writer:Karen Fox (ASI)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:SDO/AIA/171 Filter
 SDO
Series:SDO - Footage
 Solar Snapshots
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Solar Cycle
SVS >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Solar Wind
SVS >> Sun
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions
SVS >> Space Weather
SVS >> SDO
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
NASA Science >> Sun
 
 


Back to Top
Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

USA.gov logo - the U.S. Government's official Web portal. + Privacy Policy and Important Notices
+ Reproduction Guidelines
NASA NASA Official:
Content Contact:
Curator: