NASA sun observatory spies Comet Atlas in the solar wind. (Mercury, too!)


You’ll need a minute to take it all in, there’s a lot going on in this stunning view of the inner solar system, including a comet, Mercury and some solar weather.

First, let’s get oriented. You’re looking through the eyes of NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory A, or STEREO-A. The spacecraft launched in 2006 with its now-silent twin to study the sun, in particular from angles we can’t see from Earth. The spacecraft is about one-sixth of an orbit ahead (hence the A in its name) of Earth, with the sun off-screen to the left in the new images.

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