The sun is always changing and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is always watching. Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, SDO keeps a 24-hour eye on the entire disk of the sun, with a prime view of the graceful dance of solar material coursing through the sun's atmosphere, the corona.
This ultra-high definition (3840x2160) video shows the sun in the 171 angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. It covers a time period of January 2, 2015 to January 28, 2016 at a cadence of one frame every hour, or 24 frames per day. This timelapse is repeated with narration by solar scientist Nicholeen Viall and contains close-ups and annotations. 171 angstrom light highlights material around 600,000 Kelvin and shows features in the upper transition region and quiet corona of the sun. The video is available to download here at 59.94 frames per second, double the rate YouTube currently allows for UHD content. The music is titled "Tides" and is from Killer Tracks.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, has now captured nearly seven years worth of ultra-high resolution solar footage. This time lapse shows that full run from two of SDO's instruments. The large orange sun is visible light captured by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager, or HMI. The smaller golden sun is extreme ultraviolet light from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, or AIA, and reveals some of the sun's atmosphere, the corona. Both appear at one frame every 12 hours. SDO's nearly unbroken run is now long enough to watch the rise and fall of the current solar cycle. The graph of solar activity shows the sunspot number, a measurement based on the number of individual spots and the number of sunspot groups. In this case, the line represents a smoothed 26-day average to more clearly show the overall trend.
GCMD 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 126.96.36.199.0