We see the sun rise and set every day and pretty much take for granted that it's going to be there and the same from day to day, week to week, even year to year. But it actually goes through a cycle of activities over a span of about eleven years.

While looking directly into the sun to try to spot the changes is definitely not recommended, photographing the sun with high definition images and streaming them all together into one mesmerizing video is a pretty cool idea.

Fortunately for all of us, some really smart people at NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory did just that and they recently released a one hour video of the nearly the entire solar cycle. In the video you can clearly see the rising and falling of coronal mass ejections and sunspot activity over the years. If you watch really closely you can even see Venus transit across face of the sun about 12:24 into the video.

Pulling images from several different sources the video is comprised of one image taken per hour over a ten year period condensed into one 61 minute video. There are the occasional dark frames, some caused by eclipses from the vantage point of the camera and another caused by temporary technical difficulties that took nearly a week to sort out. (It seems even the scientists have technical difficulties from time to time.)

All in all, it's a fascinating and mesmerizing stream of images that might have you thinking about the sun just a little bit differently.

The space-like music was composed by Lars Leonhard just for this project and is called, Solar Observer.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory and other NASA missions will continue to monitor the sun for years to come, hopefully producing further insights into our place in the solar system and galaxy.


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