NASA Released a Magical Timelapse of 3 Years of Solar Beauty, and We Set It to Dubstep for You

You better sit down for this one.

For three years, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has been orbiting our planet, keeping its watchful eye on our sun, a star in our own backyard. During that time, we've seen amazing things: massive, absolutely massive, solar flares, the planet Venus transiting the solar face, and a mystifyingly beautiful phenomenon known as solar rain.

The video above compresses those three years into four minutes, using two frames from each Earth day. It was originally scored with some elvin violins, so our fearless leader, Alexis C. Madrigal, set it to dubstep for us ("Yumeji's Theme," by Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi, remixed by Piktogram). If you pay close attention, you'll notice two partial eclipses by the moon, several roll maneuvers the satellite undertook, and a few major solar flares.

Everything you see was captured in "extreme ultraviolet" light (171 angstroms), and rendered into light visible to humans. At points, the sun appears to grow bigger and smaller, an artifact of the spacecraft's changing distance from the star. According to NASA, the SDO is moving around the Earth at 6,876 mph.

Additionally, NASA has released a composite of 25 images taken over the past two years, from April 16, 2012, to April 15, 2013. In it, you get a pretty good sense of the sun's heliography. Click to expand.

743348main_Timelapse_Sun_4k-1500.jpg

For more videos from NASA, visit http://www.nasa.gov/.

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

VIdeo

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Video

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

More in Video

Just In