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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Hugh Bollinger

SOHO, 25 Years Old

            Solar animation, SOHO images 1995-2020 (credit NASA/ESA)

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) was launched in 1995 by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). The satellite is still going strong after 25 years orbiting the Sun.

When SOHO was launched, knowledge of the Sun was very different than today. Questions about the its interior, the origin of the constant outflow of material (solar wind), and the elevated temperature of the Sun's atmosphere were still unknown. After 25 years in space, the ESA and NASA’s mission to study the sun and its influence out to the edges of the solar system, has revolutionized the field of heliophysics. SOHO also found a role as the greatest comet hunter of all time—reaching 3,000 discoveries by 2015.

A NASA engineer explains the remarkable discoveries already made and more likely to follow.


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