A Nuclear Fusion Light Show -- The Sun in 4k-UHD!

The Sun is a main-sequence star, and thus generates its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. In its core, the Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second.

The sun is always changing and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is always watching. Launched on February 11, 2010, SDO keeps a 24-hour eye on the entire disk of the sun, with a prime view of the graceful dance of solar material coursing through the sun's atmosphere, the corona.

SDO captures images of the sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material. Different temperatures can, in turn, show specific structures on the sun such as solar flares, which are gigantic explosions of light and x-rays, or coronal loops, which are stream of solar material travelling up and down looping magnetic field lines.

Scientists study these images to better understand the complex electromagnetic system causing the constant movement on the sun, which can ultimately have an effect closer to Earth, too. Flares and another type of solar explosion called coronal mass ejections can sometimes disrupt technology in space. Moreover, studying our closest star is one way of learning about other stars in the galaxy. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. built, operates, and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

It is widely believed that the Sun's magnetic field is generated by electrical currents acting as a magnetic dynamo inside the Sun. These electrical currents are generated by the flow of hot, ionized gases in the Sun's convection zone.

We know a lot about the Sun's magnetic dynamo. It has a 22 year cycle. During the first half of the cycle, the Sun's magnetic north pole is in the northern hemisphere while the magnetic south pole is in the southern hemisphere. Right around the peak of the sunspot cycle (solar maximum), the magnetic poles flip or exchange places so that magnetic north is now located in the southern hemisphere. This flip occurs about every 11 years at solar maximum.

The 22 year magnetic cycle greatly influences the most prominent manifestation of the dynamo, sunspots and active regions, which migrate towards the solar equator from high latitudes over the course of the solar 11 year "sunspot cycle". Sunspots and Active Regions are manifestation of the magnetic field generated in the Sun's interior poking through the visible region of the atmosphere. Active regions are responsible for the production of intense and violent energy burst, called flares, and events where very large amounts of hot gas, trapped by the magnetic field of the active region, are released from the Sun's atmosphere and into space, called coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Watch the movie, now! Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq4PlyNkm2Y

Credit: The SDO Team, Genna Duberstein and Scott Wiessinger, Producers

1st music:

The Big Decision by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) || Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Then:

Light Awash by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100175 || Artist: http://incompetech.com/

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