Venus Slides towards the Sun (June 6, 2008)
As Venus moves closer to sliding behind the Sun, it is a view that no one but SOHO can see (June 4, 2008). Because its LASCO C2 coronagraph blocks out the Sun and some of the corona around it, SOHO can observe how the orbit of the relatively bright planet Venus carries it to a position directly behind the Sun as seen from the Sun-Earth line of sight. This position is called a "superior conjunction." SOHO is about one million miles (1.6 million km) towards the Sun and near the Sun-Earth line of sight. Venus is so bright that it saturates the CCD camera, making it appear much bigger and also causing "bleeding" along pixel rows (the bright horizontal streak on either side of the planet).
This reminds us that we can look forward to the next transit of Venus (when it will cross in front of the Sun as seen from Earth) on June 6, 2012. This will occur near sunset for observers in the U.S. And, this event will not occur again for more than another 100 years, so best not miss it.
You can find out more here: http://www.transitofvenus.org/
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.