Its mission is science, but since NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched in 2010, it's been sending some just-plain stunning images of the sun back to Earth. The SDO spacecraft is the first mission launched for NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) Program, designed to understand the sun's influence on Earth.
Using Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, EUV Variability Experiment, and a Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager, the semi-autonomous spacecraft gives scientists a nearly constant ability to watch our star.
Check out some of the latest colorful multiwavelength images returned this week from the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Discuss: NASA's latest stunning images of sun (photos)