Solar Orbiter films comet Leonard’s journey through the Solar System


Magnificent images of the brightest comet of the year passing by the Solar Orbiter as it cruises through the Inner Solar System.

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We have the extraordinary chance today to see planets in detail, to study the Sun as closely as possible, to probe the confines of the universe thanks to powerful telescopes on Earth, in space and a fleet of space probes. Without forgetting rovers that roll on Mars. The ship Solar Orbiter, of the’THAT and the Nasa, is one of them. On the way to observe the poles of our Star, the craft was able to image Comet Leonard between December 17 and 19, as it passed in front of it, in its field. On these incredible images carpeted with distant stars (located far beyond our Solar system), we can admire Venus, very bright, and Mercure cross. C / 2021 A1 (Leonard), the brightest comet of the year, moves diagonally, its tail in the direction of the space probe. We’re in movement with the machine and through its eyes – SoloHI (Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager) in this case – one can admire stars evolve on the stage of the Internal Solar System. Breathtaking !

Comet Leonard, Venus and Mercury in the Solar Orbiter field. © ESA, Nasa, NRL, SoloHI

Comet Leonard is approaching the Sun

More images will be unveiled within days, after Comet Leonard once again crosses the field of Solar Orbiter. For a different point of view, at the forefront of the spectacle of a comet in full swing, which has since changed. The frozen star is heading at high speed towards the point of its orbit closest to the Sun that it will reach on January 3, 2022 (90 million kilometers from Earth). Several bursts of activity like those observed around December 20-22 (The photos are beautiful) are expected to occur in the next few weeks.

C/2021 A1 (Leonard), the first comet discovered in 2021, passed very close to Venus last December 17th. If she’s still in one piece by her perihelion, and afterwards, it will race in the years to come into interstellar space, leaving our Solar System forever.

Other images that caused a sensation last week (below), the trip to any speed from la probe Parker Solar, from NASA, towards the Sun. We saw her sink into the solar corona, undergoing disturbances due to solar particles. In the storm from solar wind, his eyes observed at the same time the ballet of the planets Venus, Mars and Mercury. What show !

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