New image shows how the Sun changes over the course of a 22-year cycle

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and has spent 22 years recording the Earth from the sun and has given us a full picture of the solar cycle.


Of the billions of stars in the Milky way, there’s one in particular, in orbit about 25,000 light years from the core, that impact on Earth from day to day, moment to moment. That star is, of course, the sun.While the solar activity cycle is followed for about two and a half centuries, the use of space-based telescopes provides a new and unique perspective of our nearest star.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), is in an area for more than 22 years — the average length of a completed solar magnetic cycle, according to a caption image of ESA. In the new image, SOHO researchers pulled together 22 images of the sun, taken in the spring in the course of a full solar cycle. When the sun is at its most active, strong magnetic fields, visible as bright spots in the sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona; black sunspots appear as concentrations of magnetic fields to reduce of the surface of the sun the temperature during active periods.

During the sun’s magnetic cycles, the polarity of the magnetic field of the sun gradually collapses. This first phase lasts for 11 years, after 11 years, the magnetic field of the position returns to where it started. Monitoring the entire 22-year cycle to a considerable extent, information relating to the interaction between the solar activity and the Earth, improved space-weather forecasting capabilities and more, ESA officials said in the caption. SOHO has revealed a lot about the sun itself, the capture of “sunquakes,” the discovery of waves traveling through the corona of the sun and the collection of information about the charged particle moves in the space, the so-called solar wind.

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