This Is Our Sun

Fun fact: This is the first complete image of our life-giving friend in the sky. Like, first ever in the history of mankind. NASA’s STEREO mission — Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory — installed two nearly identical satellites on either side of the sun making the 3D eyecandy possible. The goal here is to track sunspots, solar storms and the like on the other side of the sun. This was previously not possible but important to space missions and space weather forecasting. Don’t get it? The video after the jump should explain it.

NASA puts the technology like this:

Each STEREO probe photographs half of the star and beams the images to Earth. Researchers combine the two views to create a sphere. These aren’t just regular pictures, however. STEREO’s telescopes are tuned to four wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet radiation selected to trace key aspects of solar activity such as flares, tsunamis and magnetic filaments. Nothing escapes their attention.