Man, the Sun loves the spotlight more than celebrities. NASA recently released the 100-millionth image of the sun. The milestone image was snapped in the early afternoon on January 19th by a telescope on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
The instrument used to capture the image is called the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA). It actually uses four telescopes to snap 8 images of the sun every 12 seconds. These images are captured through a variety of wavelengths (10 total).
Take the 100-millionth image posted above. That image was taken at a wavelength of 193 angstroms. While the image below was taken at 335 angstroms.
The AIA takes 57,600 images of the sun everyday. That’s nearly as many Kim Kardashian images taken everyday.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory has been giving scientists an in-depth look of the sun since February 2010. These include insights about solar flares, the sun’s magnetic field and the temperature differences between the corona and the sun’s surface.
In celebration of this milestone, Dean Pesnell (SDO project scientist) and Karely Schrijver (AIA principal investigator) picked 12 of their favorite images from the SDO. I’m going to highlight a couple of them. Check out the rest here.
This image shows the power of the SDO and the AIA. Scientists can observe the entire sun in a variety of wavelengths. The image below shows all the different wavelengths the SDO can see the sun in.
Check out the partial solar eclipse in the image below. Sometimes the moon crashes SDO’s viewing party. You can see some of the moon’s mountain ridges, especially on the bottom left part of the moon.
Image credits: NASA, SDO