Total Solar Eclipse (July 2, 2019)
Observers in South America were not the only ones to see the eclipse yesterday... LASCO's cameras on SOHO were watching too!
Composite with a wide-field of view, ESA-CESAR (inner) with both the LASCO C3 and C2 images (outer).
Composite of ESA-CESAR with the SOHO/LASCO C2 images.
Image credits: Predictive Science, Inc.
On July 2nd 2019, a total solar eclipse will be visible in certain areas of the Pacific Ocean and southern South America. From Earth, such events are both rare and spectacular, and allow not only the public to see the Sun's corona, but also allow scientists to get a detailed look at the corona very close to the Sun.
In space, however, a solar eclipse is not necessarily a rare thing. In fact for the joint ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a total solar eclipse is not only common, it's constant, and has been since the spacecraft launched in 1995. We are of course, referring to the US Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) instrument, which is a coronagraph telescope that creates a perpetual total solar eclipse by blocking sunlight with a solid central "occulting" disk, and thus revealing the Sun's much fainter corona.
For now, we are planning our observations on-board SOHO here.
More information about this spectacular event will be forthcoming. Stay tuned!
SOHO began its Solar 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.