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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Mars and the Sun viewed by SOHO

Filed under animation, the Sun, Mars, solar observing spacecraft

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The video above shows the Sun from January 1 to February 4, 2011 as viewed by the Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) Experiment aboard the ESA/NASA SOHO solar observatory mission. This instrument puts a disc in front of the Sun to block the direct light. Coming in from the left of the video is a bright speck - Mars! Mars reached solar conjunction on February 4. As a result of its apparent proximity to the Sun, radio communications with all the Mars spacecraft (Mars Express, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the two Mars Exploration Rovers) were curtailed.

ESA/NASA

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