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Comet as seen by SOHO.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy NASA

SOHO watches comet
News story originally written on January 31, 2003

On January 29, 2003 a comet passed very close to the Sun. This picture was taken by a spacecraft called SOHO. When the SOHO spacecraft took this picture, we couldn’t see the comet from Earth because the comet was too close to the Sun. SOHO has a special instrument called a coronagraph which blocks the brightest light from the Sun. A coronagraph is a lot like an eclipse in the way it blocks the Sun's light.

Comet Kudo-Fujikawa passed very close to the Sun. For a while it was closer than Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun.

Some pictures from SOHO were put together to make a movie (820K GIF) of the comet passing the Sun. Here is an even better movie (3.7M GIF). These movies are VERY BIG, and may take a long time to download to your computer!


Last modified January 31, 2003 by Randy Russell.

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