Movie creation limits changed temporarily to meet high-demand

In response to the huge demand resulting from yesterday’s spectacular eruption, we are going to temporarily decrease the maximum size of the movies created on

When you request a movie on we attempt to use as many images as are available for the requested time period, within a specified limit. Normally that limit is 300 images. For a single-layer movie this meant that the movie would be created using about 300 images. For multi-layer movies, the number of images allowed is divided by the number of layers included or order to deal with the increased strain. For instance, if you requested a two-layer movie (e.g. AIA 304 and LASCO C2), the limit would go become 300 / 2 = 150 images. Similarly, for a three-layer movie the limit would be 300 / 3 = 100 images. All of this is simply to make it possible to create movies in a reasonable amount of time, within the constraints of the server runs on.

In order for us to be able to process the large amount of movie requests waiting to be processed (currently about 3000), we are going to temporarily decrease the maximum movie image limit from 300 to 150. In order to keep the frame-rate high, we will also decrease the default movie duration by a proportionate amount: instead of each movie being 20 seconds long, movies will be 10 seconds long instead. So basically, if you either requested a movie during the past 24 hours, or request one sometime during the next several days, it will likely be half as long, and include half as many images as usual. Once movie demand returns to a more sustainable level and we have caught up with the current queue of movies these limits will be returned to their normal values so users can continue to make the high-quality movies they are used to.

Thanks everyone for your patience.

Update June 09, 2011: We have decreased the image limit (from 150 to 100) and movie duration (from 10s to 6.6s) once more to account for the continued high-demand. Once things slow down a bit we’ll increase the limit first to 150, then back to 300.

Written on June 8, 2011 by keith