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NASA captures three years of the sun in three minutes (VIDEO)


This image is a composite of 25 separate images spanning the period of April 16, 2012, to April 15, 2013.


NASA/SDO/AIA/S. Wiessinger

For three years NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDA) has watched our sun with "virtually unbroken coverage." 

The project began in the spring of 2010, and since then NASA has photographed our closest star, checking out solar activity in its 11-year cycle.

The video is amazing, but there's a scientific pursuit behind all their work.

"SDO’s glimpses into the violent dance on the sun help scientists understand what causes these giant explosions (solar flares and coronal mass ejections) - with the hopes of some day improving our ability to predict this space weather," NASA wrote.  

The video captured many solar events over the last three years, including "two partial eclipses of the sun by the moon, two roll maneuvers, the largest flare of this solar cycle, comet Lovejoy, and the transit of Venus," NASA says

It's difficult to pick out each instance while the video is playing, so here's a breakdown of the video via NASA

00:30;24 Partial eclipse by the moon

00:31;16 Roll maneuver

01:11;02 August 9, 2011 X6.9 Flare, currently the largest of this solar cycle

01:28;07 Comet Lovejoy, December 15, 2011

01:42;29 Roll Maneuver

01:51;07 Transit of Venus, June 5, 2012

02:28;13 Partial eclipse by the moon

Here's the video, which spans three years, using two images per day.