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Stunning HD Time-Lapse of Biggest Sunspot in Decades


Image credit: Solar Dynamics Laboratory

In October, 2014, a huge sunspot, which was the biggest one of its kind observed in 24 years, appeared on the sun’s surface. Named as AR 2192, with the span of nearly 80,000 miles, the diameter of this sprawling active region was like that of Jupiter. If we had ten Earths lined up side by side, they would be laid across its diameter. Its size was so staggering that people could observe it even without a telescope.

Such huge active region produced some powerful explosions, including six X-class flares in the most intense type and four M-class flares which was a tenth as strong as X-class.

When this amazing event was occurring, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory tried to capture its complete process by the means of its well-equipped imaging apparatus, taking impressive photos every 34 seconds as the sun bubbled away and released material into space. To unravel such unusual event, James Tyrwhitt-Drake, a science blogger, decided to have these photos stitched together to make a really gorgeous  time-lapse. By doing so, James Tyrwhitt-Drake had used about 17,000 images to create this gem. Nearly 16 days was condensed into less than eight minutes in this time-lapse when it was beautifully presented.

To help us have a better understanding of the sheer size of the sunspot, he James Tyrwhitt-Drake also enlarged the area and presented an image of the Earth for scale.

Source: CNETspace.com and Huffington Post