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Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
SOHO Satellite
CHARACTERISTICS
SOHO is an ESA satellite launched by NASA.
The 12 instruments :
GOLF, VIRGO, SOI/MDI, SUMER, CDS, EIT, UVCS, LASCO, CELIAS, COSTEP, ERNE, SWAN.
The SOHO mission studies several aspects of the Sun.
Halo orbit around the Lagrange point n° 1 at 1,5 million km from the Earth.
Lifetime 2 years,
extended by 12 years,
extended by 3 years,
extended by 2 years,
extended by 2 years.

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The project main steps

Timeline

The SOHO project, first cornerstone, with CLUSTER, of the ESA Horizon 2000 program, is part of the European contribution to international scientific programs STSP and ISTP studying the Sun-Earth relations.

SOHO is an ESA satellite launched by NASA (which also receives the scientific data through its DSN network) and which instruments have been conceived and realized by European and american scientists.

The ESA Scientific Program Committee (SPC) approuved the 5 years SOHO mission extension after its nominal lifetime, which means from May 1998 to April 2003, then at the beginning of 2002, a new extension until March 2007. On May 24 2006, the SOHO mission as again been extended pushing back the mission end to December 2009. On October 2 2009, The SOHO mission operations were extended until December 31 2012. This more than fourteen years lifetime (instead of the 2 initially decided) will enable to cover the totality of a solar cycle. On November 19 2010, The SOHO mission operations were extended until December 31 2014, extension submitted to a mid-term review in 2012. The extension of the mission for the period 2012-2014 is now confirmed. On 19 June 2013, the ESA Science Programme Committee approved a new extension, until 31 December 2016, for SOHO, subjected to mid-term confirmation, in late 2014. On November 20 2014, ESA's Science Programme Committee (SPC) agreed to continue funding for SOHO Mission until 31 December 2016.

French scientists are Principal Investigator for three of the twelve instruments (GOLF, SWAN, EIT) and have greatly contributed to several others (CDS, SUMER, LASCO) intended to study several aspects of the Sun : the heliosismology, the electromagnetic radiation, the plasma and the solar wind.

On December 26, 2010, SOHO satellite found its 2 000th comet thanks to a network of astronomy enthusiasts which fervently scrutinize each image obtained by the probe's americano-european coronograph.


Latest update 24/11/2014
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SOHO IMAGE
EIT 304 Angström
 
EIT 171 Angström
 
E-Space&Science bulletins
The heliosphere is distorted...  
NEWS
Live updates from the SOHO satellite as comet ISON makes its fiery journey around the Sun