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After a four-month journey the spacecraft reached its vantage point in orbit 1.5 million km nearer to the Sun than the Earth's own orbit. There at the Lagrange point L1, the gravitational pull of the Sun is balanced by the pull of the Earth and the centrifugal force acting on a spacecraft obiting in step with the Earth. SOHO can therefore remain hovering around that relative position, in a "halo orbit", while it accompanies the Earth in its annual march around the Sun. The spacecraft completes one revolution in its halo orbit around L1 roughly every 6 months.

SOHO is operated from a permanent vantage point 1.5 million kilometers sunward of the Earth in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point L1. That is at 1/100th of the total average distance from the Earth to the Sun which is 149.6 million km.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
3-Mar-2024 02:55 UT

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