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See The Sun In All Its Fiery Glory In This Five-Year Time Lapse From NASA

Special feature: You can stare directly at it.

We’re told not to stare at the sun, but with NASA’s new ultra-high-definition video, it’s hard not to. The sun has never looked so fiery and bad tempered.

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The 30-minute film is a mashup of five years of footage from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, and it took NASA’s Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio 10-hours to pull together each minute of footage. Thankfully it was worth it:

Trying to figure out what’s causing all the flare-ups and explosions on the surface, the SDO monitors our closest star in different wavelengths. These are shown in different colors in the video. NASA says in a release:

Different temperatures can, in turn, show specific structures on the sun such as solar flares, which are gigantic explosions of light and x-rays, or coronal loops, which are stream of solar material traveling up and down looping magnetic field lines.

To see the video at the highest resolution, hit the settings icon and click “4K.” But you’ll need a decent Internet connection.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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