Around-the-Clock Surveillance The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), launched twenty years ago this week, was the first spacecraft to provide a long-term, uninterrupted view of the Sun. Built for a two-year mission, SOHO’s dozen instruments still study the Sun in a multitude of wavelengths. SOHO moves around the Sun in step with the Earth by slowly orbiting around the First Lagrangian Point, where the combined gravity of the Earth and Sun keep SOHO in an orbit locked to the Earth-Sun line. This 2002 SOHO image shows a widely spreading coronal mass ejection as it blasts more than a billion tons of matter out into space at millions of kilometers per hour. The image is rotated so the blast seems to be pointing down. An image of the Sun from a different day was superimposed on the corona.
Image credit: Courtesy of SOHO / LASCO / EIT consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.
November 30 - December 6, 2015
Holidays - Sky Events - Space History
1974: Pioneer 11 closest approach to Jupiter during flyby
1988: STS-27 Atlantis launched
1990: STS-35 Columbia launched
1992: STS-53 Discovery launched
1993: STS-61 Endeavour launched
1995: SOHO launched
Last Qtr Moon 2:40 AM ET
Jupiter 1.8° north of Moon
Moon at apogee
Mars 0.1° north of Moon
Hanukkah begins at sunset