The Pleiades viewed by LASCO

Since May 12, the Pleiades are visible in images taken by LASCO/C3, a coronograph onboard of SOHO. As this cluster of stars 'travels' from left to right in a series of LASCO images, they will disappear end May. View in the image underneath the Pleiades in the field of view of LASCO/C3.

The Pleiades are a bunch of stars (over 3000) with only a few of them visible with the naked eye. Those are the Seven Sisters and Messier 45. At this time of the year, they are situated behind the Sun. During the daytime when we are facing the Daughters of the Greek mythological figure Atlas, they are invisible as the light of the Sun blinds us. From September until January, we can see them during night as the Pleiades are behind Earth. This seasonal behaviour becomes clear looking at the picture below.

Thanks to LASCO, they are now visible, but only for half a month. After all, LASCO's field of view is limited: the telescope images the corona from about 3.5 to 30 solar radii. You can watch a LASCO/C3 movie starring the Pleiades until May 17 underneath.




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