NASA has released a video showing footage of the sun captured over three years, using its Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO).
The SDO took one image of the sun every 12 seconds. According to NASA, the SDO generates enough data to fill one CD every 36 seconds and these images of the sun have given scientists a wealth of data to help them better understand our closest star.
"The sun, our closest star, is still a great mystery to scientists," NASA states on its website. "SDO will help us understand where the sun's energy comes from, how the inside of the sun works and how energy is stored and released in the sun's atmosphere. By better understanding the sun and how it works, we will be able to better predict and better forecast the 'weather out in space,' providing earlier warnings to protect our astronauts and satellites floating around out there."
The video released by NASA lasts about three minutes and 44 seconds and features two images of the sun taken per day. Noteworthy events that take place in the video include coronal mass ejections, a solar flare, a partial eclipse and the passing of the comet Lovejoy.
The SDO was launched by NASA on Feb. 11, 2010 to observe the sun in order to better understand how it affects Earth and its nearby area. Scientists hope that the SDO may one day allow us to better predict space weather caused by events like solar flares and coronal mass ejections. The largest solar flare to occur so far this year took place earlier this month.
You can watch the NASA SDO video of the sun below.