Astronomy Picture of the Day



Children of the Sun

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#96242 by @ 17.11.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Children of the Sun


Explanation:

For a
moment
, planets
Jupiter,
Venus,
Mars, and
Mercury
all posed near their parent star in this Sun-centered view,
recorded on November 11.

The picture, from a coronograph onboard the space-based
SOlar Heliospheric
Observatory
, spans 15 degrees with
the Sun's size and position indicated by the white circle.

Background stars are also visible as the otherwise
overwhelming sunlight is blocked by
the coronograph's occulting disk.

But the planets themselves, in particular Jupiter and Venus, are
still bright enough to cause significant horizontal streaks in
the image.

Mercury is actually
moving most rapidly (left to right) through
the field and
days
earlier
was seen to
cross
in front
of the solar disk.

So what's that bright double star to the left of Mars?

Zubenelgenubi, of course.




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