Season's Greetings from SOHO, 1999
|Click on the images for larger versions (512x512). Image captions can be found below.|
|1024x1024 EIT (upper right): 500KB GIF, 160KB JPEG, and LASCO (below): 1MB GIF, 220KB JPEG|
Caption: These "pretty pictures" from 3 different SOHO instruments were taken as the Christmas holiday was fast approaching. The upper left image, from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI), shows a particularly nice sunspot group near the central meridian. At one of the SOHO daily planning meetings, the sunspot group was dubbed the "Hawaiian" due to its resemblance of the Pacific island group.
The upper right image, taken by the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) shows a 304 Å image of an erupting polar crown filament. The eruption was determined to originate from the backside of the sun.
A truly seasonal treat is shown in the lower half of the lower image, captured by the Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO). Every winter, when the Sun passes through the constellation of Sagittarius, the center of the Milky Way is visible as a "cloud" of unresolved stars passing through LASCOs field of view. It is also possible to make out a dark interstellar dust rift, stretching from the south to the north. The center of the galaxy lies a little bit to the right of the image's center line, on the lower half of the "S" formed by the dust lane.
MDI (Michelson Doppler Imager); EIT (Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope);
LASCO (Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph);
Taken: December 23, 14:00UT; December 22, 19:19UT; December 23, 17:42UT