November 12, 2012 11:25 am
This video shows the last five years worth of X-ray images from our sun.
The movie was taken with the X-ray camera aboard the Hinode spacecraft, which is jointly run by the Japanese space agency JAXA, NASA, and their international partners. It begins in January 2008, when the latest solar cycle officially started. At first, all is quiet. Around two minutes into the video, active regions start firing one at a time. From there on out, the sun’s surface is a roiling mass of teeming magnetic field lines and X-ray radiation that gets stronger and stronger. By the 4-minute mark, corresponding to the most recent months, the sun is continually shooting off enormous flares and energetic particles. The final burst-filled shots are from July, and the sun isn’t quite done yet.
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