The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

Indiana Astronomical Society

NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

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The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a spacecraft that was launched on December 2, 1995 to study the Sun, and began normal operations in May 1996. It is a joint project of international cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. Originally planned as a two-year mission, SOHO currently continues to operate after over ten years in space. In October 2009, a mission extension lasting until December 2012 was approved.

In addition to its scientific mission, it is currently the main source of near-real time solar data for space weather prediction. Along with the GGS Wind and Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), SOHO is one of three spacecraft currently in the vicinity of the Earth-Sun L1 point, a point of gravitational balance located approximately 0.99 astronomical unit (AU)s from the Sun and 0.01 AU from the Earth.

Visit the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)home page

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