Let’s be honest, we all spend a bit too much time with technology. It’s currently 85º F (29º C) where I live, and am I outside enjoying the weather? Am I taking the dog for a walk or planning on having a lovely picnic? No. I’m watching Futurama, sitting on my couch, typing this article. And things aren’t going to change anytime soon. Each year, we become increasingly dependent on technology. We really can’t change that. At least I don’t pretend that single article (or a video, even) is going to revolutionize how much we allow technology to permeate our lives. However, perhaps I can divert your attention for a few moments to something that is a bit more worthwhile.
Last year, NASA scientists compiled a collection of images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory to create an awe-inspiring video that showcases the Sun's life over three years. This film was stitched together using two images each day, for a total of sum of 1,095 days. The video offers a never-before-seen glimpse of the elegant violence that is our star. During the course of the video, you’ll note the random flare-ups that increase in frequency as the Sun nears solar maximum. Moreover, the Sun subtly increases and decreases in size. Of course, the Sun does not actually change in size; rather, the distance between the SDO spacecraft and the Sun varies over time. According to NASA officials, SDO records an image of the Sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The images seen in the video are in the extreme ultraviolet range.
I know that your parents probably told you that you shouldn’t stare at the Sun, lest you go blind…but I think it’ll be okay, just this once.
WATCH: Three Years of the Sun in Three Minutes:
See? Our Sun truly is vicious and slightly terrifying.