What has collected over 200 million images and 2,600 terabytes of data, and just celebrated its fifth anniversary?
The Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO. And I have to admit that when I saw the part about “2,600 terabytes of data” my eyeballs nearly fell out. That is a metric sh*t ton of data!
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory…provides incredibly detailed images of the whole sun 24 hours a day. Capturing an image more than once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the sun grow and erupt ever since its launch on Feb. 11, 2010. The imagery is also captivating, allowing one to watch the constant ballet of solar material through the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.
To mark the SDO’s anniversary, NASA made a glorious highlights reel. I started to mark down the moments when something really impressed me, so I could tip you off here, but gave up when one image after another qualified as gorgeous. This is a beautiful video, choreographed to lovely music. Sit back, fire it up in fullscreen HD, and remember: you’re watching our star.
(Hat tip to Joe.)