NASA's year-long time-lapse of the sun in 60 seconds - VIDEO

  14 May 2018    Read: 1776

New video shows the stunning spinning of the sun – and serves as a reminder of its immense power.

The footage, shared by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows our star as it spins around. But the immense power and swirling atmosphere that it shows a dangerous side, too: that energy has the power to knock out power grids or disrupt communications on Earth.

As such, the kind of satellite monitoring that created this picture is incredibly important. The footage was captured by the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI), which is on board a satellite above Earth.


As well as being used to create such videos, it allows organisations like NOAA to keep watch on the solar weather, and give out warnings accordingly.

Those solar weather forecasts allow astronauts on the International Space Station to make sure they are safe when such storms pass over, for instance. And they also allow people to know when the northern lights might appear, too, which come about as a result of that solar weather.

Space weather is similar to the same concept here on Earth. The constant changes of the Sun mean that its energy is changing all the time, and watching for that helps us understand what they will mean for Earth.

Sometimes, for instance, the Sun can give off a vast amount of powerful energy – just like a storm in the normal weather. Watching for patterns on the star can help predict when events like solar flares, coronal mass ejections, coronal holes, and geomagnetic storms might be happening, and what they might mean for the Earth.



The Independent

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