SDO: Year One

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One year ago today, on April 21, 2010, NASA held a First Light press conference where the first images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory were presented to the public! Now here we are one year later and the images and video we have enjoyed these past 12 months are, in a word, breathtaking. SDO has given us an entirely new look at the Sun and changed the way we think about our parent star…not to mention filled our scientific coffers with literally tons of new data!

The wonderful folks over at SDO have compiled the video above highlighting some of the best images captured by the orbiting observatory…check it out!

Some additional info from NASA:


Large prominence seen by SDO on April 11

April 21, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) First Light press conference, where NASA revealed the first images taken by the spacecraft.

In the last year, the sun has gone from its quietest period in years to the activity marking the beginning of solar cycle 24. SDO has captured every moment with a level of detail never-before possible. The mission has returned unprecedented images of solar flares, eruptions of prominences, and the early stages of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). In this video are some of the most beautiful, interesting, and mesmerizing events seen by SDO during its first year.

In the order they appear in the video the events are:

1. Prominence Eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on March 30, 2010

2. Cusp Flow from AIA in 171 Angstroms on February 14, 2011

3. Prominence Eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on February 25, 2011

4. Cusp Flow from AIA in 304 Angstroms on February 14, 2011

5. Merging Sunspots from HMI in Continuum on October 24-28, 2010

6. Prominence Eruption and active region from AIA in 304 Angstroms on April 30, 2010

7. Solar activity and plasma loops from AIA in 171 Angstroms on March 4-8, 2011

8. Flowing plasma from AIA in 304 Angstroms on April 19, 2010

9. Active regions from HMI in Magnetogram on March 10, 2011

10. Filament eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on December 6, 2010

11. CME start from AIA in 211 Angstroms on March 8, 2011

12. X2 flare from AIA in 304 Angstroms on February 15, 2011

Be sure to vote on your favorite SDO clip! Voting goes from April 21 until May 5.


Thanks SDO! Here’s to many more years of amazing images of our Sun! 🙂


  1. Just a quick question, Is it really true that this year (2012) we can experience a rain of fire because of the SME?


    1. J. Major says:

      No. No rain (or reign) of fire in 2012. At least not because of anything to do with CMEs or the Sun.


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