NASA releases a breathtaking time-lapse video featuring highlights of the sun's activity to mark five years in space of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Matthew Stock reports.
A twisting solar flare erupting into space......just one of many captivating images taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory during its five years in space. To mark the milestone, NASA has released a veritable 'greatest hits package' of the sun's activity. Highlights include twirling giant loops hovering in the corona and huge sunspots growing and shrinking on the sun's surface. So-called coronal mass ejections that accompany solar flares can send billions of tonnes of solar particles into space, potentially disrupting electronic systems in satellites and on Earth. What causes these eruptions is among the sun's mysteries the Observatory is helping solve as it continues to produce tantalising data for scientists.