SDO Celebrates its Tenth Launch Anniversary

  • Released Tuesday, February 11th, 2020
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:45PM

Capturing an image in ten different wavelengths of light every 12 seconds, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory — SDO — has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the Sun grow and erupt ever since its launch on Feb. 11, 2010. The imagery is also captivating, allowing one to watch the constant ballet of solar material through the Sun's atmosphere, the corona. This year marks the tenth anniversary of SDO's launch and the start of its decade watching the Sun.

Music: "Encompass" from Universal Production Music

Watch this video on the NASA Goddard YouTube channel.

Complete transcript available.

In February 2020, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory — SDO — is celebrating its tenth year in space. Over the past decade the spacecraft has kept a constant eye on the Sun, studying how the Sun creates solar activity and drives space weather — the dynamic conditions in space that impact the entire solar system, including Earth.

Since its launch on February 11, 2010, SDO has collected millions of scientific images of our nearest star, giving scientists new insights into its workings. SDO’s measurements of the Sun — from the interior to the atmosphere, magnetic field, and energy output — have greatly contributed to our understanding of our closest star. SDO’s images have also become iconic — if you’ve ever seen a close up of activity on the Sun, it was likely from an SDO image.

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