100 Million Sun Photos, and Counting…

And here it is! Number 100,000,000!!!! (Image: NASA)
And here it is! Number 100,000,000!!!! (Image: NASA)

On January 19, 2015, an instrument on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured its milestone image of the sun.

“The instrument is the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, or AIA, which uses

four telescopes gather eight images of the sun cycling through 10 different wavelengths – every 12 seconds

the US space agency said.

Since NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched on Feb 11, 2010, it has provided stunning images of the sun to help scientists better understand how the roiling corona gets to temperatures some 1,000 times hotter than the sun’s surface, what causes giant eruptions such as solar flares, and why the sun’s magnetic fields are constantly on the move.

In honor of the 100 millionth image, Dean Pesnell, SDO’s project scientist at NASA and Karel Schrijver, the AIA principal investigator at Lockheed, chose some of their favorite images produced by SDO so far.

Here are 10 fascinating facts you may not know about the sun:

And, watch this solar flare on the surface of the sun—truly an amazing sight!

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