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Scientists' Favorite Sun Photos by Solar Dynamics Observatory (Gallery)

SDO's 100 Millionth Image

NASA/SDO/AIA/LMSAL

On Jan. 19, 2015, NASA's prolific Solar Dynamics Observatory snapped its 100 millionth photo of the sun using its AIA instrument. And tucked in all those sun photos are some solar gems for mission scientists. See the favorite sun photos by SDO as picked by the space observatory's mission team in this gallery. HERE: In this, the 100 millionth image, dark coronal holes appear at the top and the bottom, indicating areas of less dense gass, where solar material escaped the sun. Read the full story here.

Mosaic of SDO's 100 Millionth Image

NASA/SDO/Mosaic created with AndreaMosaic

The version of the 100 millionth image from the Advanced Imaging Assembly on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory combines hundreds of previous AIA images. All the sun pictures in the mosaic were taken in extreme ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 193 angstroms. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

Massive Sun Eruption 2011

NASA/SDO/AIA/LMSAL

On June 7, 2011, SDO observed a massive eruption on the sun that lifted an enormous amount of cool, dark material into the corona, which fell back to its origin. Scientists surmised that this event represented a small-scall version of what happens when stars form, collecting gases via gravity. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

Largest Sunspot in 24 Years

NASA/SDO/LMSAL

The largest sunspot group in 24 years appeared on the sun in October 2014. The sunspots sit below the bright active region in the middle of the sun here. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

Giant Coronal Loops Reveal the Sun's Magnetic FIelds

NASA/SDO/HMI/AIA/LMSAL

Coronal loops, shown as white lines in a sharpened AIA image from Oct. 24, 2014, combine with data from SDO's Helioseismic Magnetic Imager which displays magnetic fields on the sun's surface. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

SDO Images of Comet Lovejoy in 2011

NASA/SDO

SDO's images of Comet Lovejoy traveling around the sun in December 2011 were the first such ever captured of a comet traveling so low in the sun's atmosphere. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

Trebuchet Prominence Seen by SDO

NASA/SDO

NASA's project scientist for SDO calls this feature the trebuchet prominence, after the medieval catapult. Image captured Feb 24, 2011. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

The 'Old Man in the Sun'

NASA/SDO

This image of the sun happens to look like a human face, with the eyes made of hot material, the linear mouth delinated by dark cooler material, and the hair around the outside made of material floating in the sun's atmosphere. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

SDO Filters the Sun

NASA/SDO/Pesnell

This three-color image combines three Atmospheric Imaging Assembly images using a filter to increase the contrast and an inverted color table to make small areas more visible. In this image, dark spots represent hotter regions. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

SDO Views Transit of Venus

NASA/SDO/Goddard Visualization Studio

On June 5 and 6, 2012, SDO observed the transit of Venus moving across the sun's face as viewed from Earth. This image combines many photos. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

SDO Views Partial Eclipse

NASA/SDO

The orbit of SDO around the Earth permits it to enjoy an unobstructed view of the sun almost all the time, except a few times a year when the moon slips into the picture. SDO got this image on Nov. 22, 2014. Read the full story of SDO's 100 millionth photo.

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