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The Venus Movies


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As a final hurrah for the 2012 Venus transit of the Sun, here are some beautiful time-lapse movies from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory; an orbiting telescope that can image the Sun in a variety of narrow wavebands, from visible light to ultraviolet and extreme-ultraviolet, probing the different temperature structures at the solar surface.

First up, the ingress of Venus in the 30.4 nanometer waveband – viewing the solar chromosphere and transition region at temperatures of around 50,000 Kelvin:

Next, the full transit in the 17.1 nanometer band – viewing the ‘quiet’ corona and upper transition region at temperatures of around 630,000 Kelvin:

Here we have ingress again, in the 19.3 nanometer band, probing the corona and hot flare structure at about 1.2 to 20 million Kelvin:

And finally, the last view of Venus in transit for more than the next 100 years, egress at 17.1 nanometers, probing the 630,000 Kelvin temperature structures:

Caleb A. Scharf About the Author: Caleb Scharf is the director of Columbia University's multidisciplinary Astrobiology Center. He has worked in the fields of observational cosmology, X-ray astronomy, and more recently exoplanetary science. His latest book is 'Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos', and he is working on 'The Copernicus Complex' (both from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.) Follow on Twitter @caleb_scharf.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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