Thursday, June 07, 2012

My Favorite Venus Transit Video

It's pretty clear that NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has stolen the show, at least on Youtube and Twitter, with it's videos of the recent Venus transit.  However, my favorite video is not the popular, creepy (yet beautiful!) extreme ultraviolet images of a flat-looking black circle moving across amazing prominences and other features in the hot solar corona.  

My favorite is this video in orange light where you can clearly see sunlight scattered around Venus' atmosphere as it moves in front of the Sun.  The limb of the Sun also seems to be refracted by the planet's atmosphere.

These images were made by the SDO's Heliocentric and Magnetic Imager (HMI) which observes at a wavelength of an Fe I (unionized iron) absorption line at λ6173.