NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spied a substantial coronal hole begin to rotate into view over Dec. 1-2, 2016. Coronal holes are magnetically open areas of the sun's magnetic field structure that spew streams of high speed solar wind into space.
A minor solar eruption triggered a crackling, white flash that sent an expanding wave of plasma below it over about six hours in this observation from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Nov. 4, 2016.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory compares very large coronal holes taken Oct. 27, 2016. Coronal holes are areas of open magnetic field that carry solar wind out into space, currently causing a lot of geomagnetic activity here on Earth.
When an active region rotated into a profile view, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory was able to capture the magnificent loops arching above an active region (Sept. 28-29, 2016). The Earth was inset to give a sense of the scale of these towering arches.
On Sept. 12-14,2016 NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spotted a series of active regions stretched along the right side of the sun exhibited a wide variety of loops cascading above them. Earth quickly passed in front of a portion of the sun.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) saw both the Moon (upper right) and the Earth (upper left) partially block the sun (Sept. 1, 2016 at 7:33 UT). Just before this image was taken, the Earth totally blocked the sun for a while.
The Sun produced three M-class (medium-sized) flares in less than 13 hours and the third one had an interesting flourish at the end (July 22-23, 2016). These were the largest flares the Sun had produced this year as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observato
A close-up of twisting plasma above the Sun's surface produced a nice display of turbulence by caused combative magnetic forces (June 7-8, 2016) over a day and a half as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
A substantial coronal hole had rotated so that it temporarily faced right towards Earth (May, 17-19, 2016). This coronal hole area is the dark area at the top center of this image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
On May 9, 2016, Mercury passed directly between the Sun and Earth, making a transit of the Sun. Mercury transits happen about 13 times each century. NASA's SDO studies the Sun 24/7 and captured the eight-hour event.
This still image from an animation from NASA's GSFC's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows arches of magnetic field lines towered over the edge of the Sun as a pair of active regions began to rotate into view (Apr. 5-6, 2016).
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a long coronal hole has rotated so that was temporarily facing right towards Earth (Mar. 23-25, 2016). Coronal holes appear dark when viewed in some wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light.
The magnetic field lines of three active regions in close proximity to one another interacted with each other over two and a half days (Feb. 8-10, 2016). This image is from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.