Use the Solar Observatory to See the Pleadeas In Daytime

The lovely Pleiades  star cluster is not visible in our nighttime sky, because it’s lost in the glare of the Sun.  But it’s fun to look for it while it moves past the Sun in our skies.  And we can do that with the SOHO solar telescope.  SOHO (Solar & Heliospheric Observatory) is a joint USA and European Space Agency space mission to study our star.

SOHO has special cameras, some of which block out the Sun so we can see the Sun’s outer atmosphere and how the Sun’s magnetic field affects it.  SOHO blocks out the Sun so well, we can see stars and planets passing through the glare of the Sun.

Check this week and watch the Pleiades, that star cluster that looks like a little dipper, or nameplates on older Subaru cars, pass through the view of the C3 camera .  Here’s a sample from yesterday:

latest 2016 05 15 2042

The Pleiades are in the upper left of this scene and will move to the lower right this week. The incredibly bright object on the right is the planet Venus.

Here’s a movie of the past three days, showing the Sun moving in front of the star field and Venus racing to keep up.

current_c3 05 15 1500.gif


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