Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun. Its five-year mission is to examine the sun's atmosphere, magnetic field and also help scientists understand more about the role the sun plays in Earth's atmosphere.

On June 5 2012, SDO collected images of the rarest predictable solar event -- the transit of Venus across the face of the sun. The last transit was in 2004 and the next will not happen until 2117.

For more information: Transit of Venus 2012—Sun Show Will Be Last for a Century (National Geographic)
Venus Crosses the Sun for Last Time until 2117 (Scientific American)
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