NASA Gradient Sun video mixes science and art

Part science, part impressionist painting, a video of the surface of the sun released by NASA uses a special filter to create a dynamic blue and orange orb.

The images used to create the video are from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the filter used for the effect is similar to a gradient filter that one might have in any photo editing software, says the NASA website.

Gradient filters help scientists highlight the places of greatest physical change, allowing them to see something they otherwise may have missed. When it comes to the sun, applying a gradient to images allows scientists to better view coronal loops, the “giant arcs of solar material constrained to travel along that particular path by the magnetic fields in the sun’s atmosphere.”

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