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LASCO C3 image showing Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury and Venus simultaneously. The white circle in the middle of the image indicates the size of the Sun, blocked out by an occulting disk to show the surrounding corona. The horizontal lines are not planetary rings, but 'pixel bleeding' resulting from over-exposure. The dark feature pointing towards the lower left corner is the shadow of the pylon holding the occulter. The LASCO C3 instrument on SOHO uses a mask to blot out direct sunlight, and it has a wide enough field of view (15 degrees) to take in four planets (Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn)in the same picture. Also conspicuous in the picture is a famous star cluster, the Pleiades.
The transit of Venus June 8, 2004 Webcast
The Venus transit as observed from Norway will be webcasted on www.astronomy.no (English) and www.astronomi.no (in Norwegian). High quality images taken from several locations will be used. H-alpha filters will be used on at least two telescopes. An airplane will be used to transport equipment (including a high quality H-alpha filter) and crew to a location with superb weather conditions. In addition there are plans to have one telescope airborne above any clouds. This should guarantee good quality images. Since the capacity of the trans-atlantic connection is far too small for such a big event a mirror of this webcast will be hosted on the SOHO webpages