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The sun’s greatest hits as captured by the Solar Dynamic Observatory from February 2012 to February 2013.

( Live data and other resources can be found at http://SunSpotWatch.com )

On Feb. 11, 2010, NASA launched an unprecedented solar observatory into space. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) flew up on an Atlas V rocket, carrying instruments that scientists hoped would revolutionize observations of the sun. If all went according to plan, SDO would provide incredibly high-resolution data of the entire solar disk almost as quickly as once a second.

When the science team released its first images in April of 2010, SDO’s data exceeded everyone’s hopes and expectations, providing stunningly detailed views of the sun. In the three years since then, SDO’s images have continued to show breathtaking pictures and movies of eruptive events on the sun. Such imagery is more than just pretty, they are the very data that scientists study. By highlighting different wavelengths of light, scientists can track how material on the sun moves. Such movement, in turn, holds clues as to what causes these giant explosions, which, when Earth-directed, can disrupt technology in space.

SDO is the first mission in a NASA’s Living With a Star program, the goal of which is to develop the scientific understanding necessary to address those aspects of the sun-Earth system that directly affect our lives and society. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. built, operates, and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

SDO Year 3 Visuals List:

The list below shows the number of the clip, the wavelength of the clip, a brief description of what is appearing, the date and time range of the event, the imaging cadence and the SVS page where the frames and other materials are.

+ Clip 1  AIA 171 Angstrom   Active regions and plasma loops 7/8/12  2200UTC - 7/10/12  0100UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11044

+ Clip 2  AIA 304 Angstrom   Prominence 9/16/12 0200UTC - 9/16/12  0800UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4033

+ Clip 3  AIA 171 Angstrom   Active regions 8/31/12 1830UTC - 8/31/12 2400UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3999, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11095

+ Clip 4  AIA 171 Angstrom   Loops connecting active regions 7/8/12  2200UTC - 7/10/12  0100UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11044

+ Clip 5  AIA 131 Angstrom   X1.4 Flare 10/23/12 peaking at 0317UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11120

+ Clip 6  AIA 131 Angstrom   Eclipse 9/16/12 0200UTC - 9/16/12 0800UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4033

+ Clip 7  AIA 171 Angstrom   Post-flare arcade 3/6/12 2000UTC - 3/7/12 0400UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3920, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10925

+ Clip 8  AIA 171 Angstrom   “Tornado” of plasma 7/18/12  2130UTC - 7/19/12  0900UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4027, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11047

+ Clip 9  AIA 304/171 Angstrom   Prominence eruption, CME 8/31/12 1830UTC - 8/31/12 2400UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3999, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11095

+ Clip 10  AIA 171 Angstrom   Active region 3/6/12 2000UTC - 3/7/12 04:00UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3920, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10925

+ Clip 11  AIA 304 Angstrom   Prominence  12/31/12 1600UTC - 12/31/12 2000UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4038

+ Clip 12  HMI Continuum   Sunspots 6/8/12 0700UTC - 6/22/12 0000UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4037

+ Clip 13  AIA 171 Angstrom   X5.4 Flare 3/6/12 2000UTC - 3/7/12 0400UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3920, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10925

+ Clip 14  AIA 335 Angstrom   M7.7 Flare 7/19/12  0440UTC - 7/19/12 0705UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4027, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11047

+ Clip 15  AIA 304 Angstrom   Transit of Venus 6/5/12 2121UTC - 6/6/12 0524UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3940, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10996

+ Clip 16  AIA 171 Angstrom   Transit of Venus 6/5/12 2121UTC - 6/6/12 0524UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3940, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10996

+ Clip 17  AIA 304 Angstrom   Transit of Venus 6/5/12 2121UTC - 6/6/12 0524UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3940, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10996

+ Clip 18  AIA 211 Angstrom   Transit of Venus 6/5/12 2121UTC - 6/6/12 0524UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3940, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10996

+ Clip 19  AIA 193 Angstrom   Transit of Venus 6/5/12 2121UTC - 6/6/12 0524UTC .http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3940, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10996

+ Clip 20  AIA 131 Angstrom  X5.4 Flare 3/6/12 20:00UTC - 3/7/12 0400UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3920, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10925

+ Clip 21  AIA 171 Angstrom  Active regions 10/17/12 1600UTC - 10/23/12 0600UTC

+ Clip 22  AIA 304 Angstrom  Coronal rain and plasma loops 7/19/12 0430UTC - 7/20/12 0200UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4026

+ Clip 23  AIA 131/171 Angstrom   CME and flux rope 7/18/12 2130UTC - 7/19/12 0900UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4027, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11047

+ Clip 24  AIA  304 Angstrom   Prominence eruption 9/23/12 1330UTC - 9/23//12 1700UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4034

+ Clip 25  AIA 131 Angstrom   Early flux rope formation 7/18/12 2130UTC - 7/19/12 0900UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4027, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11047

+ Clip 26  AIA 304/171 Angstrom   Active regions 8/31/12 1830UTC - 8/31/12 2400UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3999, http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11095

+ Clip 27  AIA 171 Angstrom   Active regions and plasma loops 7/8/12 2200UTC - 7/10/12 0100UTC http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11044