Watch Decades of Solar Activity in 47 Minutes


Illustration for article titled Watch Decades of Solar Activity in 47 Minutes

Photo: MongPro (Shutterstock)

Have you gotten to the point where you’ve already watched all of Netflix? Do you long for the sun, now that the days are the shortest of the year? Have you always wanted to stare at the sun, but were told it was bad for your eyes? Well, now’s your chance to get an up-close look at the sun, and see what it has been up to since 1998, thanks to a new time-lapse video. Here’s how to watch it.

Watch 22 years of solar footage in less than an hour

This year marks the 25th orbital anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric observatory (SOHO). Initially sent up for two years to observe the sun’s atmosphere and how its winds interact with the rest of the solar system, SOHO was equipped with instruments and a camera. Now, scientists have taken 22 years of its footage of the sun and put it together in a 47-minute time-lapse video. According to New Atlas, “the footage shows the constant stream of particles that emanate out from our Sun to permeate the solar system, along with powerful CME events and smaller flares.”

So what’s next for SOHO? Per New Atlas:

It is currently believed that SOHO will end its vigil in 2025, once a set of newer, more capable Sun-watching spacecraft have taken to space and begun their scientific duties. Until the day comes that the decommissioning order is sent, the spacecraft will continue working both on its own, and with other Sun-facing satellites to unravel the secrets of our star.

So sit back, relax, and take in more than two decades of the sun—perfect on all these dark winter nights (and days).



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