NASA just released this awesome 4K video of thermonuclear activity on the sun

if you’ve ever been told not to stare at the sun, now’s the time to ignore that advice. Earlier today, NASA released a 30-minute video of the sun in stunning 4K quality. The clip was generated using images obtained from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a satellite whose sole mission is to study the sun 24/7. The resulting video of Earth’s closest star shows the celestial body at a level of detail that will blow your mind.

Launched in February 2010, the SDO was designed to capture images of the sun once every 12 seconds using two imaging instruments: the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument, and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI). It can record the sun at ten different wavelengths. Each wavelength is assigned a different color and represents a different temperature of solar material covering everything from the solar surface to the sun’s corona. NASA hopes the observations from the SDO will lead to a better understanding of the solar dynamics that affect the Earth’s environment.

Unlike other satellites, which typically use a recording system to save data until it can synced with a ground station, the SDO collects far too much data to be stored on the satellite in space. The recorded data is so abundant that the SDO could fill a full CD every 36 seconds. As a result, the SDO is placed into a geosynchronous orbit a, allowing it to send solar data continuously to a dedicated ground station that is always connected to the satellite.

This high-definition imaging data was later compiled by a team of media specialists who worked more than 300 hours to create the 30-minute presentation that shows solar activity at all ten recorded wavelengths. NASA posted the ultra-high definition video (4K) on its YouTube channel along with a playlist of songs from musician Lars Leonhard, which provides the background music for the video.

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