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:
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.