The Moon As Mirror

Just like human eyes, the Hubble Space Telescope can’t observe the sun directly – so NASA scientists plan to study Venus’s solar transit in June by using the moon as a mirror.

As Venus passes across the face of the sun on June 5 and 6, the Hubble team will point the telescope at Earth’s moon. By using it as a mirror, they can capture reflected sunlight and isolate the small fraction of the light that passes through Venus’s atmosphere. Imprinted on that small amount of light are the fingerprints of the planet’s atmospheric makeup.

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