NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory - 3 Years of Sun in 3 Minutes
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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has watched the Sun for three years.  This is what it saw.

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There are several noteworthy events that appear briefly in this video:
0:30: partial Sun eclipse by the Moon
0:31: SDO performs a roll maneuver
1:11: x6.9 solar flare, the largest of this solar cycle (August 9, 2011)
1:28: Comet Lovejoy passes by (December 15, 2011)
1:49: SDO performs a roll maneuver
1:51: Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun (transit of Venus) (June 5, 2012)
2:28: partial Sun eclipse by the Moon 
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. SDO captures a shot of the sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The images shown here are based on a wavelength of 171 Angstroms, 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.  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.  Music: "A Lady's Errand of Love" by Martin Lass.  Definition: Angstrom: a unit of length, equal to one ten millionth of a millimeter, primarily used to express electromagnetic wavelengths.
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