The Surface Of Sun As You’ve Never Seen It Before (VIDEO)
CARL FRANZEN MAY 24, 2012, 4:35 PM 10528
Updated 11:13 a.m., Friday, May 25
Missed the annular solar eclipse that occurred on May 20? Don’t feel bad, NASA has released a gorgeous new video of a sight even rarer: the Sun’s surface, up close and as you’ve never seen it before.
The video is actually a collection of still images of the Sun collected by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), an unmanned orbital spacecraft launched in February 2010 specifically to track the Sun’s activity and better understand its causes and effects on Earth.
The video is made up of images of the Sun’s plasma activity captured by SDO’s instruments, activity that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, as it is seen only in an ultraviolet wavelength (171 Angstrom).
The images that make up the video captured a particularly intense 24-hour period of activity on the surface of the Sun from September 25 to September 26, when several coronal mass ejections — bursts of charged particles that often occur along with solar flares — and solar “tornadoes” swirled around the star’s surface.
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