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Three Years of SDO Images

In the three years since it first provided images of the sun in the spring of 2010, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has had virtually unbroken coverage of the sun's rise toward solar maximum, the peak of solar activity in its regular 11-year cycle. This video shows those three years of the sun at a pace of two images per day. Each image is displayed for two frames at a 29.97 frame rate.

SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) captures a shot of the sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The images shown here are based on a wavelength of 171 Angströms, which is in the extreme ultraviolet range and shows solar material at around 600,000 Kelvin. In this wavelength it is easy to see the sun's 25-day rotation as well as how solar activity has increased over three years.

During the course of the video, the sun subtly increases and decreases in apparent size. This is because the distance between the SDO spacecraft and the sun varies over time. The image is, however, remarkably consistent and stable despite the fact that SDO orbits the Earth at 6,876 miles per hour and the Earth orbits the sun at 67,062 miles per hour.

Such stability is crucial for scientists, who use SDO to learn more about our closest star. These 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.

The four wavelength view at the end of the video shows light at 4500 Angströms, which is basically the visible light view of the sun, and reveals sunspots; light at 193 Angströms which highlights material at 1 million Kelvin and reveals more of the sun's corona; light at 304 Angströms which highlights material at around 50,000 Kelvin and shows features in the transition region and chromosphere of the sun; and light at 171 Angströms.

Noteworthy events that appear briefly in the main sequence of this video:

00:30;24 Partial eclipse by the moon

00:31;16 Roll maneuver

01:11;02 August 9, 2011 X6.9 Flare, currently the largest of this solar cycle

01:28;07 Comet Lovejoy, December 15, 2011

01:42;29 Roll Maneuver

01:51;07 Transit of Venus, June 5, 2012

02:28;13 Partial eclipse by the moon

Watch this video on YouTube.

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Other multimedia items related to this story:
     SDO Sees Comet Lovejoy Survive Close Encounter With Sun (id 10886)
     SDO's Ultra-high Definition View of 2012 Venus Transit (id 10996)
More information on this topic available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/first-light-3rd.html

Video of three years-worth of SDO data at a wavelength of 171 Ångströms and then 4 different synchronized wavelengths: 171, 304, 193, and 4500.  Information about the still image is below. Music:    Video of three years-worth of SDO data at a wavelength of 171 Ångströms and then 4 different synchronized wavelengths: 171, 304, 193, and 4500. Information about the still image is below.

Music: "A Lady's Errand of Love" - composed and performed by Martin Lass

For complete transcript, click here.
Duration: 4.0 minutes
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This version of SDO:Three Years in Three Minutes is extended and narrated by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center heliophysicist Alex Young.  He highlights many interesting aspects of the video and points out several of the single-frame events that appear in it.    This version of SDO:Three Years in Three Minutes is extended and narrated by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center heliophysicist Alex Young. He highlights many interesting aspects of the video and points out several of the single-frame events that appear in it.

For complete transcript, click here.
Duration: 5.1 minutes
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This image, and the one at the top, is a composite of 25 separate images spanning the period of April 16, 2012 to April 15, 2013.  It uses the SDO AIA wavelength of 171 Ångströms and reveals the zones on the sun where active regions are most common during this part of the solar cycle.  This version is widened to achieve a 16x9 aspect ratio. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/S. Wiessinger    This image, and the one at the top, is a composite of 25 separate images spanning the period of April 16, 2012 to April 15, 2013. It uses the SDO AIA wavelength of 171 Ångströms and reveals the zones on the sun where active regions are most common during this part of the solar cycle. This version is widened to achieve a 16x9 aspect ratio.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/S. Wiessinger

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This image, is a composite of 25 separate images spanning the period of April 16, 2012 to April 15, 2013.  It uses the SDO AIA wavelength of 171 Ångströms and reveals the zones on the sun where active regions are most common during this part of the solar cycle.  This version maintains the original aspect ratio of the AIA instrument imagery. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/S. Wiessinger    This image, is a composite of 25 separate images spanning the period of April 16, 2012 to April 15, 2013. It uses the SDO AIA wavelength of 171 Ångströms and reveals the zones on the sun where active regions are most common during this part of the solar cycle. This version maintains the original aspect ratio of the AIA instrument imagery.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/S. Wiessinger

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This video shows the sun in the 171 Ångström wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.  It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of two frames per day, or one frame every 12 hours.  Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented.  171 Ångström light highlights material around 600,000 Kelvin and shows features in the upper transition region and quiet corona of the sun.  The still image shows a partial eclipse of the sun by the moon from SDO's perspective.    This video shows the sun in the 171 Ångström wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of two frames per day, or one frame every 12 hours. Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented. 171 Ångström light highlights material around 600,000 Kelvin and shows features in the upper transition region and quiet corona of the sun. The still image shows a partial eclipse of the sun by the moon from SDO's perspective.
Duration: 1.1 minutes
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This video shows the sun in the 304 Ångström wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.  It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of one frame per day.  Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented.  304 Ångström light highlights material around 50,000 Kelvin and shows features in the transition region and chromosphere of the sun.  The still shows a large prominence from Sept 15, 2010.    This video shows the sun in the 304 Ångström wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of one frame per day. Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented. 304 Ångström light highlights material around 50,000 Kelvin and shows features in the transition region and chromosphere of the sun. The still shows a large prominence from Sept 15, 2010.
Duration: 33.8 seconds
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This video shows the sun in the 171 Ångström wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.  It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of one frame per day.  Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented.  171 Ångström light highlights material around 600,000 Kelvin and shows features in the upper transition region and quiet corona of the sun.    This video shows the sun in the 171 Ångström wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of one frame per day. Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented. 171 Ångström light highlights material around 600,000 Kelvin and shows features in the upper transition region and quiet corona of the sun.
Duration: 33.8 seconds
Available formats:
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This video shows the sun in the 4500 Ångström wavelength of light.  It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of one frame per day.  Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented.  4500 Ångström light highlights material around 6,000 Kelvin and matches the visible light appearance of the sun.  The layer of the sun visible in this wavelength is called the photosphere.    This video shows the sun in the 4500 Ångström wavelength of light. It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of one frame per day. Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented. 4500 Ångström light highlights material around 6,000 Kelvin and matches the visible light appearance of the sun. The layer of the sun visible in this wavelength is called the photosphere.
Duration: 33.4 seconds
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This video shows the sun in the 193 Ångström wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.  It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of one frame per day.  Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented.  193 Ångström light highlights material around 1 million Kelvin and shows features in the corona and flare plasma.  193 also reveals dark areas called coronal holes where the high-speed solar wind originates.    This video shows the sun in the 193 Ångström wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. It covers a time period of June 2, 2010 to April 15, 2013 at a cadence of one frame per day. Early in the sequence, SDO's coverage was intermittent, so not every day is represented. 193 Ångström light highlights material around 1 million Kelvin and shows features in the corona and flare plasma. 193 also reveals dark areas called coronal holes where the high-speed solar wind originates.
Duration: 33.8 seconds
Available formats:
  1920x1080 (29.97 fps) QT         330 MB
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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11255
Animation Number:11255
Completed:2013-04-18
Video Editor:Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Producer:Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Writers:Karen Fox (ASI)
 Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:SDO
 SDO/AIA/193 Filter
 SDO/AIA/304 Filter
 SDO/AIA/171 Filter
 SDO/AIA/4500 Filter
Series:Narrated Movies
 SDO - Edited Features
Goddard TV Tape:G2013-043 -- Three years of SDO Sun Data
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO
 
Keywords:
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Music
SVS >> Solar Flare
SVS >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Sun
SVS >> Space Weather
SVS >> SDO
SVS >> Edited Feature
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Heliophysics
NASA Science >> Sun
 
 


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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

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