The Sun in HD: Latest Photos by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Sees Lunar Transit on Jan. 30, 2014


A rainbow of lunar transits as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The observatory watches the sun in many different wavelengths of light, which are each colorized in a different color.

Long Filament on the Sun

Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA

A long filament snaked across half the sun during the week of Jan. 19-23, 2014. This one, if it were straightened out, would be about 500,000 miles (804,000 km) long. Filaments consist of elongated clouds of cooler gases, tethered above the solar surface by powerful magnetic forces. They often exhibit instability and remain prone to erupting, although so far this one has remained intact. The images, taken in extreme ultraviolet light, actually show ionized helium at about 108,000 degrees F (60,000 degrees C).

Lunar Transit Seen by Solar Dynamics Observatory


NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the moon crossing in front of its view of the sun on Jan. 30, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Solar Fireworks: Sun Flare of July 3, 2013


The sun unleashed an M1.5-class solar flare (lower left) on July 3, 2013, a solar fireworks to the traditional Fourth of July holiday in the United States. [a href="">Read the Full Story]

Sun Emits Mid-Level Flare


NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of an M5.7-class flare on May 3, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. EDT. This image shows light in the 131-angstrom wavelength, a wavelength of light that can show material at the very hot temperatures of a solar flare and that is typically colorized in teal.

Prominence Eruption


A burst of solar material leaps off the left side of the sun in what’s known as a prominence eruption. This image combines three images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured on May 3, 2013, at 1:45 pm EDT, just as an M-class solar flare from the same region was subsiding. The images include light from the 131-, 171- and 304-angstrom wavelengths.

Gigantic Rolling Wave Captured on the Sun


A coronal mass ejection (CME) erupted from just around the edge of the sun on May 1, 2013, in a gigantic rolling wave. CMEs can shoot over a billion tons of particles into space at over a million miles per hour. This CME occurred on the sun’s limb and is not headed toward Earth.

Full Year Composite of the Sun

NASA/SDO/AIA/S. Wiessinger

This image is a composite of 25 separate images spanning the period of April 16, 2012, to April 15, 2013. It uses the SDO AIA wavelength of 171 angstroms and reveals the zones on the sun where active regions are most common during this part of the solar cycle.

Strong Solar Flare: April 11, 2013 - Full Disk


This full-disk view of the sun was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on April 11, 2013, during the strongest solar flare yet seen in 2013.

Solar Eruption of March 12, 2013


This screenshot from a video taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft shows a coronal mass ejection (center) erupting from the sun on March 12, 2013.

Solar Plasma Rain Falls on the Sun


A close-up of a spectacular loop of solar plasma "rain" on the sun as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft on July 19, 2012. NASA released a video of the amazing sight on Feb. 20, 2013.

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