8 unforgettable photos of the sun taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory

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Partial lunar eclipse

A partial lunar eclipse

Most of the time, SDO’s view of the sun is unobstructed. However, a few times a year, the moon creeps into the frame of the image like a┬álunar photobomb. In this picture taken on Nov. 22, 2014, we see that the moon’s disk is partially blocking the solar corona. If you check out the edge of the moon, you’ll notice that it’s not a perfect circle, and thanks to the high-res image, we can actually see mountains along the edge.

Coronal loops

Coronal loops from the sun

In October of 2014, SDO captured expanding coronal loops that can be seen along the edge of the sun. As NASA explains, “The bright loops began to form and grow after a long-lasting M-class flare erupted. The arcs of the loops we see in extreme ultraviolet light are actually particles spiraling along magnetic field lines arcing above the active region that was the source of the flare. They are reorganizing the magnetic field after its disruption.” To make it all the more impressive, these loops extend out over 15 times the size of Earth.

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