The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has given a spectacular visual treat to space enthusiasts by releasing a time-lapse video of our Sun covering the past couple of decades. The video was released on December 2, 2020 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
SOHO is a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). To celebrate this milestone, a video was released showing a nearly 50-minute video of the sun radiating solar matter from 1998 through 2020.
The SOHO spacecraft keeps a constant check on sun’s activities, recording its every move. The video is certainly going to leave you mesmerised.
The ESA said in an official statement on Wednesday that the video shows the sun turning and the background stars swirling, demonstrating the constant flow of matter blowing in all directions known as the solar wind.
The constant solar wind is interrupted only by huge explosions that hurl sheets of material at massive speeds and fill the solar system with ionized matter and solar radiation.
SOHO uses special telescopes called coronagraphs that block the face of the sun and capture coronal mass ejections’ (CMEs) views. Using the Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph, known as LASCO, SOHO provides a 360-degree view of the atmosphere around the sun. CMEs are outrageous explosions of solar particles that can disrupt spacecraft, astronauts, and even Earth’s power grids.
The US space agency used the coronagraph’s views for the video posted to mark the 25th anniversary. When solar particles bombard SOHO, there are sometimes blasts of extreme white noise. The fast-moving bright spots with lines radiating to the sides are photobombing planets that are revolving around the star.
LASCO images captured via SOHO are essential for space weather forecasting models. They are widely used to predict the impact of space weather events on Earth.