Trio of Planet Crossings (March 29, 2013)
Hi-res TIF (3.9M)
SOHO images are revealing a sight no one else gets to see: Venus, Mars and Uranus are all crowding into the same picture with the Sun. From our perspective on Earth, it is happening in the daylight sky very close to the glaring sun. Using a disk to block the glare, coronagraphs are able to track the planets. The movie shows the planets as they appear to approach the Sun (Mar. 24-27, 2103).
Venus and Uranus crossed paths within 1.5 degrees of the sun on March 27-28. Mars and Venus appear to have their own very close encounter on April 6-7. Mars will be so close to the Sun throughout the month of April that it will limit NASA's contact with the Mars rovers and orbiters due to the noise introduced into radio transmissions by the solar corona.
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.