This image compares the relative size of SDO's imagery to that of other missions (Image: NASA)
Although we do know some things about the Sun - it's big and hot for example - in many ways it remains a great mystery to scientists. In a bid to shed some more light on our closest star, NASA launched its most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the Sun in February this year. The goal of the the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is to help us understand where the Sun's energy comes from, explore its inner workings, and learn more about how energy is stored and released in the Sun's atmosphere. A nice side benefit will also be the capture of stunning images – the first of which have just been released.