The Solar Dynamics Observatory has the ability to stare at the sun without going blind, and it captures all kinds of colorful activity in the process.
NASA has been boldly ignoring that age-old advice not to look directly at the sun. For years now, it's been staring down our star and recording it in a rainbow of colors that reveal the parts we'd otherwise never see.
The video below, released Tuesday, samples 10 different views of the sun recorded using data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), with each color representing a different wavelength of light that is normally invisible to the naked eye but can be picked up by the telescope.
Check out how, as the different colors and the wavelengths they represent sweep around the surface of the sun, the same sections of its surface can appear vastly different. Here's an abbreviated viewing cheat sheet from NASA:
Yellow light of 5800 Angstroms, for example, generally emanates from material of about 10,000 degrees F (5700 degrees C), which represents the surface of the sun. Extreme ultraviolet light of 94 Angstroms, which is typically colorized in green in SDO images, comes from atoms that are about 11 million degrees F (6,300,000 degrees C) and is a good wavelength for looking at solar flares, which can reach such high temperatures.
Now put away those shades, ignore your mother's advice and stare directly at this video: