June 6 -Instruments aboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) have captured stunning images of the June 5 and 6 transit of Venus across the Sun. The images give a fine detail view of an event that will not happen again until 2117. Rob Muir reports.
The images were produced by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) during a six hour period over June 5 and 6. They were taken through different filters, designed for different wavelengths to show details of the Sun's surface and provide clues about Venus's atmosphere. Recording the transit in so many diferent ways also helped NASA scientists calibrate the SDO's instruments for its ongoing observations of the Sun. Using established data about the path of Venus across the sun, SDO scientists were able to ensure the observatory's instruments were oriented to true solar north. The observatory, carrying an array of four telescopes, was launched in February, 2010 on a five year mission to study the sun. NASA says it has been a spectacular success. Rob Muir, Reuters