Object 14

Movie showing solar flares during a 4-week period


The present movie corresponds to a period where the Sun is at the peaks of its activity during its 11-years solar cycle (from September 17, 2014, to October 14, 2014). The solar cycle starts from 'solar minimum', a period of low activity, before rapidly rising and reaching a peak around 3-4 years later. At the Sun's activity increases, features such as the number and size of erupting structures, the levels of radiation and the number of flares increase, too. After reaching its maximum, Sun's activity decline back down to a minimum from which point the next cycle will begin.

This movie was taken by the instrument SWAP onboard the ESA satellite PROBA2. This satellite was launched on November 2, 2009 and is observing the Sun since early 2010. PROBA stands for 'PRoject for Onboard Autonomy', which is part of ESA's in-orbit Technology Demonstration programme.

Two of the PROBA2 scientific instruments, the LYRA photometer and the SWAP EUV imager, are designed to study the Sun and to monitor its activity. LYRA was developed by a Belgian–Swiss consortium and SWAP by Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL) and the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB). The PROBA2 Science Center is located at ROB.

More information on



Back to the list of objects

Copyright © 2018 BELSPO