The SOHO Project Essay

This essay has a total of 688 words and 3 pages.

The SOHO Project

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory or SOHO for short is a cooperative joint effort by
the European Space Agency (ESA) and the U. S. National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA). The main mission of this project is to study the internal structure
of the Sun, its extensive upper atmosphere, as well as to determine the origin and
characteristics of the solar wind.


The SOHO spacecraft was launched on December 2, 1995 where then it was directed to go
about 930,000 miles sunward from the Earth to the L1 or the Lagrangian point. This
"Lagrangian" point is a place between the Sun and the Earth where the gravity pulls of
both masses stabilize the spacecraft enough to achieve a state of gravitational
equilibrium between the two masses. At this point, the spacecraft then established its own
"halo-like" orbit in space but continued to also orbit about the Sun in the same orbital
path as the Earth. Once SOHO's "halo-like" orbit was established, the spacecraft was then
ready to open its payload bay doors and begin its probing of the Sun with its wide array
of scientific instruments.

All instruments aboard the SOHO spacecraft fall under one of the following headings based
on what area of the Sun it is suppose to observe and measure: the solar interior, the
solar atmosphere, or the solar wind. The solar interior instruments such as GOLF (Global
Oscillations at Low Frequencies) and VIRGO (Variability of Solar Irradiance and Gravity
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