Stunning Sweet View From Deep Space Shows Earth, Venus, and Mars in a Single Frame

On November 18, 2020, the Solar Orbiter managed to capture three of our solar system’s eight planets in a single frame, according to a European Space Agency statement. The resulting four-second movie was stitched together from a series of still images taken across 22 hours.

When the photos were taken, Solar Orbiter was 30 million miles (48 million km) from Venus, 156 million miles (251 million km) from Earth, and 206 million miles (332 million km ) from Mars. The Sun is out of frame to the lower right, but its glow is clearly visible.

The spacecraft, a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency, was en route to Venus for a gravitational assist when the images were taken using its Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI) camera. Solar Orbiter eventually flew past Venus on December 27. A steady diet of flybys with Earth and Venus will bring the probe closer to the Sun and also tilt its axis of orbit such that it can observe the Sun from different angles.

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