Venus transit in LASCO C2 (June 10, 2004)
Hi-res TIF image (2.6M).
A lot of people cast their eyes to the skies to spot the transit of Venus on June 8th. Up in space, SOHO watched it steadily approach, go behind the occulting disks of its two coronagraphs, then re-emerge some hours after the transit and continue on its merry way. Venus appears as a bright point with white lines extending out to the sides due to the spreading out of much brighter pixel range than the instrument can handle, called pixel bleeding. In the C2 instrument, which observes a field of view about six times the width of the Sun, Venus appeared mid-day on the 7th and left the instrument's view on June 9th. We did observe a nice coronal mass ejection that blasted off to the upper right of the image on the 8th.
Due to its orbital position none of SOHO's instruments saw the planet actually cross the disk of the Sun, though the EIT instrument did see a dark Venus go beneath the Sun from our vantage point. Now we all have to wait until 2012 to see this event for the last time in our lifetimes.
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.
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