NASA's SDO Captures 100 Millionth Image of the Sun

Posted on January 23, 2015

SDO takes 100 millionth image of the sun

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has taken its 100 millionth image of the sun. The image shows coronal holes at the top and bottom of the sun. The image is recorded by an instrument on the SDO called the Advanced Imaging Assembly (AIA). The AIA's four telescopes work in parallel to take eight images of the sun every 12 seconds.

The 100 million images of the sun have been taken since the SDO launched nearly five years ago on February 11, 2010. The AIA cycles through 10 different wavelengths as it records images of sun. The SDO also records sun data through the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager and the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment. NASA says the SDO sends 1.5 terabytes of sun data down to Earth daily.

NASA shared another version of the 100 millionth sun image here on Instagram. NASA also released a mosaic created from previous AIA images. You can view some of the other sun imagery here in the SDO's online gallery.

The first notable sun flare of the year was also recorded last week. The flare was recorded at 11:24 pm ET on January 12th. It was classified as an M5.6-class flare. M-class flares are weaker than X-class flares, the most intense type of solar flare. Take a look: