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SOHO: image of the week

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Image of the week, Space exploration

Celebrate 20 years of uninterrupted views of our Sun.

Latest image from SOHO.  Credit ESA/NASA
Latest image from SOHO. Credit ESA/NASA

In December 1995, the ESA-NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) launched into space, eventually reaching around 1.5 million kilometres closer to the Sun.

From protecting our planet to investigating how the Sun works, SOHO’s original 2 year mission has been crucial in the understanding of the centre of our solar system.

Numerous mission extensions have allowed it to be the longest-lived Sun-watching satellite.

SOHO was initially used to find out new information on the Sun’s deep core, however today it is relied upon to monitor the effect of space weather.

Solar storms are typically driven by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which send billions of tonnes of electrified gas into space. If Earth lies in the way of these CMEs then our satellites, telecoms and astronauts could be at risk.

Luckily, SOHO has studied more than 20,000 CMEs and has been able to provide up to 3 days’ warning – enough time for action to be taken on Earth.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Elaine Cresswell posted on

    So inspired by Tim Peake. Have been amateur astronomer since son (age29) did his Astronomy badge at cub scouts but been well and truly reignited by Tim and Principia.


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