Have you ever wondered how planets in our solar system looked from a distance or from the vicinity of the Sun?
Well think no more because the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have released the pictures captured by their Sun probe on Tuesday. The two space agencies have a joint solar probe called Solar Orbiter that captured the shining planets Earth, Venus, and Mars.
In an Instagram post that was shared by the ESA earlier this week, the planets are visible in a recording made by the Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI) camera on board the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft.
The ESA also shared a video where the Solar Orbiter is appearing to move as it travels around the Sun. The planets can also be seen in motion in the SoloHI field-of-view but ESA mentions in its caption that their motions are different because of their individual orbital movements around the Sun.
The European Space Agency mentions that the SoloHI is one of the six remote-sensing instruments that are present on the Solar Orbiter. The SoloHI is used to take images of the solar wind, which is the stream of charged particles that are constantly released by the Sun into outer space. The instrument does that by capturing the light scattered by electrons in the wind.
NASA and ESA’s joint solar probe is known to be one the most complex machines ever built to study the Sun and the solar wind. The mission takes images of the sun at a much closer distance than any other spacecraft. NASA also has two other solar missions of its own called, Parker Solar Probe, and Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory. These two probes have also sent in their versions of how the planets in the solar system look. In an Instagram post by NASA Goddard the images captured by all three solar probes are shared.
The image captured by NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is in two frames and shows six of our solar system’s planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The image was taken on June 7, 2020.
The photograph, captured on November 18, 2020 shows the three planets standing out brightly with myriad stars and astronomical bodies twinkling in the background. The first planet from left, Venus is the brightest planet in the video which the ESA says was around 48 million kilometres away from the Solar Orbiter. Meanwhile its distance to Earth was 251 million kilometres and 332 million kilometres to Mars on the day the photograph was taken. The Sun is outside the frame.