A general presentation of ESA's SOHO (SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory), due to be launched on December 2nd, 1995. Using computer images, this programme explains how and why SOHO will study the Sun's internal structure, how most of the instruments onboard SOHO work, and the mission objectives. There are some colourful animations of the Sun. Technical, but suitable for a general audience. Chapters can be used independently.
- 00:28 CHAPTER 1: OVERVIEW - THE SONG OF THE SUN. General presentation of ESA's SOHO , which can analyse the visible interior of the Sun; images of the Sun. Understanding the Earth's climate. SOHO can detect the atomic particles of the solar wind until they hit the Earth. ESA’s CLUSTER satellites are then designed to observe what happens. The scientists of SOHO and CLUSTER will compare their observations. Build in Europe, SOHO is part of the transatlantic programme to study the Sun and its effect on the Earth: ESA contributes with 70% to SOHO and NASA 30%..
- 05:02 CHAPTER 2: BACKGROUND - WHY SOHO WILL STARE AT THE SUN. History of human knowledge of the Sun. Instruments that already exist. Questions we still have about the Sun. Recording the sound waves.
- 09:04 CHAPTER 3: ENGINEERING THE MISSION - TO THE SUNWARD STATION. Images of the preparation of the European Observatory in the factory. The use of the Lagrangian points (also named L-Points or Liberation Points – five in total) where the gravitational force of the Earth and the Sun balance is presented. Gazing at the Sun.
- 11:52 CHAPTER 4: HELIOSEISMOLOGY - PROBING INSIDE THE SUN. Virtual images of the Sun. The Sun's internal working. Presentation of GOLF, one of the instruments, with images on how it works. VIRGO LOI, MDI and its camera are presented in animations; images produced.
- 16:46 CHAPTER 5: REMOTE SENSING - THE ULTRAVIOLET SUN. The EIT, SUMER, CDS (spectrometers) instruments are explained and how they are scanning all squares of the Sun.
- 20:27 CHAPTER 6: CORONOGRAPHS - STREAKS AROUND THE SUN. Coronographs and what these instruments observe. The Ultraviolet Coronographs spectrometer (UVCS). What drives the solar wind into the solar system. LASCO coronograph instrument for visible light.
- 22:51 CHAPTER 7: SOLAR PARTICLES - THE WIND FROM THE SUN. Presentation of two instruments, MTOF and LION, that analyse the electrical and chemical particles in the solar wind. The way they look, and the way they work.
- 25:10 CHAPTER 8: HELIOSPHERE. THE SHAPE OF THE BAG. Presentation of the instrument SWAN.
- 27:10 The end.