I’ve just used Helioviewer to create this:
Pretty impressive, eh?
And the best thing about it is…it was ridiculously trivial to do.
Helioviewer is a free on-line application:
Simply enter a date and time in the box on the left. Below these fields, the website shows the date and time of the nearest matching image found. Click the listed image to select details such as the observatory and wavelength of light you want to see. The wavelengths are given in ångströms (1 ångström is 1×10−10 metres). Different wavelengths of light show off different features of the Sun. The available observatories are NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
Once you’ve found a suitable date (I picked around 16th February 2011 as the Sun has been very active recently) you can simply click the “Movie” or “Screenshot” icons above the main image. You can then select a specific area to capture or simply go for the “Full Viewport”.
If you create a Screenshot, a pop-up will appear “Click here to download” – this downloads the image as a JPG. Here is an example:
If you create a movie, a message appears informing you that it will take a couple of minutes for the movie to be generated. Then a message will appear providing you with a download link.
You can customise the amount of time covered by the movie by clicking the “Settings” icon. My movies cover a one week period.
It’s amazing the data and images that NASA provide for free. I can see myself using Helioviewer over the coming weeks to look for all the solar features I have been studying with the Open University.
I’ll finish off with some more amazing images and another video that I created with Helioviewer:
H/T to @DavidRowlandson who told me about this cool tool. #ff !