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Emily LakdawallaMay 16, 2012

Cool video: Jupiter, its moons, a comet, and...the Sun?

Here's a neat video posted by SungrazerComets (the Twitter identity of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Sungrazing Comets website) this morning. It's an animation of images taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) on May 13 and 14, when Jupiter was passing through solar conjunction. It's pretty spiffy that SOHO can spot two of Jupiter's moons. As icing on the cake, the video also captures a sungrazing comet and a coronal mass ejection.

Jupiter and its moons Callisto and Ganymede seen in the USNRL's LASCO C2 camera on the ESA/NASA SOHO satellite. Note that the horizontal "wings" caused by Jupiter's brightness saturating the CCD camera. These wings get smaller as Jupiter nears the solid occulting disk in the image center because of optical vignetting effects. (Vignetting can be a huge pain under most circumstances, but here it's great because it reveals Callisto and Ganymede so nicely!) As a bonus, there was also a so-called "Kreutz Sungrazer" comet earlier in the movie and a beautiful coronal mass ejection!

NASA / USNRL

Read more: pretty pictures, podcasts and videos, the Sun, solar observing spacecraft

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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Emily Lakdwalla
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