The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released a spectacular visual treat for space enthusiasts by dropping a time-lapse video of our moody sun covering the last couple of decades. The video was released to mark the 25th anniversary of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) on December 2, 2020.
SOHO is a joint project from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) and to celebrate the landmark achievement, the video was released showcasing a nearly 50-minute-long video of the sun blasting out solar material from 1998 through 2020.
The SOHO spacecraft is a permanent spectator of the sun's activities, recording its every move. The video is certainly going to leave you mesmerized.
In an official statement on Wednesday, the ESA said that the video shows the sun turning and background stars whirling by proving how constant the stream of material is that is blasted in all directions, known as the solar wind.
The constant solar wind is interrupted only by giant explosions that fling bows of material at massive speeds, filling the solar system with ionized material and solar radiation.
SOHO uses special telescopes known as coronagraphs that block out the face of the sun and capture views of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). With the help of Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph, known as LASCO, SOHO provides a 360-degree view of the atmosphere around the Sun. CMEs are outrageous outbursts of solar particles that can impact spacecraft, astronauts and even disrupt power grids on Earth.
The American space agency used the coronagraph views for the video that was released on the 25th anniversary. When solar particles are bombarding SOHO, there are occasional blasts of extreme white noise. The fast-moving bright spots with lines radiating to the sides are photobombing planets that are revolving around the star.
LASCO images captured via SOHO have become crucial for space weather prediction models. They are frequently used in predicting the impact of space weather events travelling toward Earth.