The Sciences

NASA Video Showcases Sun's Stunning Variability

D-briefBy Carl EngelkingFeb 12, 2014 1:19 AM

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Like a good wine, NASA’s eye on the sun — the Solar Dynamics Laboratory (SDO)— keeps getting better with each passing year. On Tuesday, the space organization released highlights from its fourth calendar year monitoring the activity of our closest star. The SDO is a research satellite, launched on Feb. 11, 2011, that keeps a 24-hour watch on the entire disk of the sun. It captures images of the sun in 10 different wavelengths to catch solar flares, x-ray emissions and other solar phenomena. NASA’s movie gracefully documents examples of a variety of solar activity over the past year, including the largest sunspot observed in the past nine years. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a visually-striking year on the sun.

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