10 years worth of sun photographs turned into incredible time lapse by NASA

Over the past decade, the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory has been capturing photographs of the sun. From 2 June 2010 to 1 June 2020, the SDO took a photo of the sun every 0.75 seconds, which amassed a staggering 425 million photographs, which works out as an equally mind-boggling 20 million gigabytes of data. This information has enabled NASA to make countless new discoveries about how our closest star works and how it influences the solar system.

The SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) used a triad of instruments, including the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), which captured an image every 12 seconds at 10 different wavelengths of light. NASA then compiled a time lapse using one photo from every hour of the decade, condensing the huge amounts of data into a 61 minute video.

• Read more: Best camera for astro photography Best timelapse cameras

The hour-long video shows the sun's outermost atmospheric layer, which is called the corona. Over the course of the video, we see the rise and fall in activity that occurs as part of the sun's 11-year solar cycle. We can also witness notable events such as transiting planets and eruptions.

The NASA page detailing the story behind the video explains that there have been a few moments that the instruments missed. This was mostly when the earth or the moon eclipsed SDO as they passed between the spacecraft and the sun. However, there was a longer blackout in 2016 caused by a temporary issue with the AIA instrument, which was resolved after a week. 

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.