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NASA Lets Us Watch the Sun Spin For 3 Years In 4 Minute Video

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the great-balls-of-fire dept.

NASA 34

An anonymous reader writes "Back in February 2010 NASA launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory–a 3-axis stabilized satellite and fully redundant spacecraft. The aim of the SDO is to monitor solar activity and see how that impacts space weather. As part of its observations, the SDO captures an image of the Sun every 12 seconds using the onboard Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, but varies those shots across 10 different wavelengths. NASA has now collected three years worth of image data from the SDO and has put together a video letting us see the Sun spin in all its glory." If you watch closely, you can see individual frames containing the Moon and Venus.

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34 comments

Skip to the last few seconds... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43540619)

It turns into a giant Wonder Woman!

Re:Skip to the last few seconds... (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | about a year ago | (#43545465)

Yo mama?

Speaking of spinning... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540647)

I found APK [meatspin.cc]

So... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#43540711)

NASA is into reruns, too.

Better stick to books this summer.

Do they know why? (4, Interesting)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year ago | (#43540751)

Do they know why all the activity seems to be concentrated in 2 bands? One in the northern and one in the southern hemisphere. I would presume there is some sort of convection going on like on earth where there are westerly winds at some latitudes and easterly winds at others. But then why would that activity be on a 11 year cycle? I found this puzzling and am wondering if anyone knows the answers.

Re:Do they know why? (3, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43540999)

The answers to those questions come at the price of having to give up ever having sex with another human being again.

Re:Do they know why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541033)

That would suggest there actually is a chance of having sex with another human being for me in the future.

Re:Do they know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541607)

If there is, it'll require a makeover, step one of which is giving up Slashdot.

Re:Do they know why? (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#43541903)

Haha yes scientists don't get sex haha. yeah, that's new.

Yawn. Got anything YOU might have thought up?

Re:Do they know why? (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43542727)

I do actually. It's published.

Re:Do they know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43549243)

So let's see it.

Re: Do they know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43543521)

It's far from the truth. However, the only way I can get some good research done is by telling my wife I'll be sending the evening with my lover, and by telling my lover I'll be spending the evening with my wife.

Re: Do they know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43543803)

I heard this joke more than 30 years ago during a lecture.

Re:Do they know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542637)

The answers to those questions come at the price of having to give up ever having sex with another human being again.

And I will gladly pay that price if it means having a better understanding of the universe and being one step closer to answering the question: what the hell am I doing in this forsaken rock?

Re:Do they know why? (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year ago | (#43545785)

what the hell am I doing in this forsaken rock?

Science has provided the answer: No particular reason. You are an accident of evolution. Feel better?

Re:Do they know why? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541019)

due to the sun's rotation, material at the equator weighs less than material at the poles. this drives a macro-level dual toroidal current from the poles to the equator internally, and from the equator to the poles externally. Just like on Earth, the flow of these currents are subject to Coriolis forces, resulting in lots of activity. As for the 11-year cycle, someone else will have to answer that.

Re:Do they know why? (1)

Xoltri (1052470) | about a year ago | (#43541087)

I read somewhere that the cycle is due to the fact that because the sun is made of gas, different latitudes rotate at different rates and depending on how they match up determines the cycle. It's also an average of 11 years, not exactly 11 years.

Re:Do they know why? (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43541543)

Haven't you listened to the They Might Be Giants album, Here Comes Science? The sun isn't a mass of incandescent gas. It's a miasma of incandescent plasma!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLkGSV9WDMA

Re:Do they know why? (3, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43542521)

The cause of the solar cycles is still under debate. One theory is tidal forces from Jupiter and to a lesser extent Saturn causes it, another is solar jet stream oscillations (which I think other replier below read about), another is the "solar inertial motion" of the Sun about the center of mass of the solar system.

Re:Do they know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542913)

IANA astrophysicist, but here's my two cents:

What you've noticed is in fact a well-observed phenomenon [wikipedia.org] , but AFAIK we don't yet understand the exact mechanism. It probably arises from some long-period dynamic instability that involves magnetic fields (which are closely associated with sunspots) and the rotation ("spin") of the sun. I'm reminded of the Coriolis effect [wikipedia.org] , particularly of the pattern of apparent motion shown in the last graphic in that article, near the bottom of the page.

Re:Do they know why? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#43543533)

It's a big brain using plasma instead of electric current. 11 years is the cycle that governs brain/thinking in biorhythms.

it gave me a sun burn (2)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#43540787)

curse my pale skinned ancestors

Don't give a shit about space... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541069)

NASA has binary blobs in it's firmware and uses some non-libre software. If anything, their budget should be pulled and the agency boycotted.

Re: Don't give a shit about space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541109)

because they don't use "libre" software? get your head out of your stuck-up, open source hipster ass.

Re: Don't give a shit about space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542603)

Why don't you go suck Ballmer's dick some more, freedom-hating asshole.

Re:Don't give a shit about space... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43541133)

Goddamn hippies.

Re:Don't give a shit about space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542823)

Troll troll is troll.

Pretty cool (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541119)

Er.. Make that pretty hot.

A pattern here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541999)

Interesting how devoid of activity the poles and equator are. The action appears to be concentrated just above and below the equatorial plane. Tell me, is the earth generally aligned with that equator (I hope)?

Motion interpolation (1)

XNormal (8617) | about a year ago | (#43543371)

It would be nice if someone could smooth the motion in this video with a plugin like Twixtor.

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43543485)

The sun has been spinning for billions of years. Nothing to see here.

Stunning imagery! (1)

Lloyd David Lieberman (2907391) | about a year ago | (#43549831)

This is one heluva project !

can we do Jupiter next?? (1)

xandroid (680978) | about a year ago | (#43558237)

I've want to see something like this of Jupiter for ages!

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