Solar Orbiter Spacecraft Captures Venus Glare

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
August 25, 2021 Updated: August 25, 2021

This is the moment Solar Orbiter passed Venus earlier this month.

The images show a dark area of the planet that is hidden from the Sun and a bright crescent of light—glare from Venus’s incredibly bright sunlit side.

The footage was filmed by the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager, SoloHI, as the spacecraft made its second flyby of the planet, coming to within 7,995 kilometers (4,968 miles) of the surface.

Solar Orbiter is a collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA. It was launched in February 2020.

The spacecraft’s mission is to observe the Sun’s polar regions. It uses Venus’s gravity to bring it closer to our star and to change its orbit to get a different view. It is scheduled to make an Earth flyby in November and six more Venus flybys between 2022 to 2030.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press