The surface of the sun is a constantly erupting landscape of super-hot plasma, but scientists on Earth are blocked from getting a good look at it by our planet’s atmosphere and magnetic field. So in 2010, NASA launched an observatory to study the sun from space.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory orbits 22,000 miles above the Earth. It images the sun in 10 different wavelengths of ultraviolet light, revealing activity beyond what’s visible to the human eye. Scientists then create false-color representations, giving each wavelength its own hue. This video shows some of what the observatory has sent back to Earth.