Ten years of life of the Sun in an hour: NASA’s video is depopulated online


But let’s get to the video: 61 minutes of images taken by the NASA SDO satellite, Solar Dynamics Observatory, in which we see the Sun whirling around itself and continuously changing its appearance over the past ten years. It is in fact a fair decade that this splendid astronomical satellite-observatory watches without interrupting the surface of our star. The footage is the condensate of 425 million images, taken one every 0.75 seconds, which were stored on the ground in 20 million gigabytes.

The work of the NASA technicians was truly remarkable: in 61 minutes of video they condensed the activity of these ten years, putting a composite image for each day that they compressed in a single second of the video. We see perfectly, from beginning to end, how turbulent activity on the surface, with small and large eruptions of gaseous material at thousands of degrees, has given way slowly, starting from 2014, to the quiet Sun phase we are experiencing today. According to some astronomers it starts to be too quiet and too long compared to the past, but our past Sun has a lot, at least five billion years compared to modern science.

Difficult to venture forecasts forward, but also backwards. However, an eleven-year cycle of activity, from minimum to maximum to new minimum, has long been known. The accompanying music was specially composed by Lars Lehonard, a German musician who composes a lot on themes related to nature and the sky, songs that can be heard on social media or on his personal website.

Just one more thing: when it has exhausted a lot of its nuclear fuel, which it has inside – substantially hydrogen and helium -, the Sun will begin to expand, to make up for the lack of energy in this way. First Mercury and Venus, then Earth, Mars and Jupiter will be incorporated, let’s say, within the Sun star and for us it will be over.

It will not therefore be necessary to emigrate to Mars, as space agencies and visionary billionaires like Elon Musk think, but we will have to go much much further if we want to save the skin of humanity. It doesn’t concern us anyway, it will happen in at least four billion years. We have time to think about it.

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