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10 February 2011
SOHO spacecraft artist's impression
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Credits: ESA

SOHO spacecraft
SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA. SOHO's science ranges from the Sun's hot interior, through its visible surface and stormy atmosphere, and out to distant regions where the wind from the Sun battles with a breeze of atoms coming from among the stars.

EIT image of the Sun
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Credits: SOHO Instrument Consortium

SOHO image of the Sun
SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA. SOHO's EIT (Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) images the solar atmosphere at several wavelengths and, therefore, shows solar material at different temperatures. In the images taken at 304 Angstroms, the bright material is at 60 000 to 80 000K. In those taken at 171, at 1 million Kelvin. 195 Angstrom images correspond to about 1.5 million Kelvin. The hotter the temperature, the higher you look in the solar atmosphere.

A mass ejection, 26-Nov-2000
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Coronal mass ejection
On 26 November 2000, SOHO's LASCO instrument recorded this coronal mass ejection.

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Credits: ESA

Integration test of ESA's SOHO satellite in Toulouse in April 1995
The main scientific purpose of SOHO is to study the Sun's internal structure, by observing velocity oscillations and radiance variations, and to look at the physical processes that form and heat the Sun's corona and that give rise to the solar wind, using imaging and spectroscopic diagnosis of the plasma in the Sun's outer regions coupled with in-situ measurements of the solar wind.
After it went into space in 1995, SOHO was meant to operate until 1998, but it was so successful that ESA and NASA decided to prolong its life until 2003.

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