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A new computer screen saver made available by the European Space Agencynow allows computer users to watch spectacular, almost real-time imagesof our Sun.
Published: 4 November 1999
Much to the elation of scientists, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory is back in top gear with its newly installed software running flawlessly. "Everything is just perfect," said Bernhard Fleck, SOHO ProjectScientist. "These engineers have been absolutely fantastic. They puttogether a completely new flight software in less than a year undertremendous pressure. They have been great and this is a tremendousachievement."
Published: 5 October 1999
Just like personal computers on Earth, ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory is getting a software upgrade of its own. After SOHO vanished in space in June 1998, engineers on two continents struggled for several weeks to regain control of the spacecraft. In December1998, the loss of the last working gyroscope caused major orientation problems and rapid fuel depletion. But once again, engineers and ground controllers put the satellite back in working order. By February 1999, an unprecedented solution - emergency software rushed up to SOHO - allowed it to reorient itself. Yet that fix, which has been working perfectly ever since, was only meant to be temporary.
Published: 28 September 1999
The media and the web-surfing public, including teachers, now have instant access to the newest images of the Sun from the ESA-NASA SOHOspacecraft. In addition to still pictures from selected instruments, movies compiled from images of the previous 48 hours are available on-line. Although its introduction is timely, with a total eclipse of the Sun due on 11 August, this service of "The very latest SOHO images" will be used by solar physicists and space weather forecasters for years to come.
Published: 4 August 1999
Solar scientists believe they may have solved yet another long-standing enigma about the Sun. Working on data first gathered from the ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and then by NASA's Spartan 201 spacecraft, researchers have found that the solar wind streams out of the Sun by "surfing" waves in the Sun's atmosphere.
Published: 8 July 1999
Scientists have found that they can peek around the Sun and predict whether solar storms on its far side will shortly appear on the side facing the Earth. This surprising discovery by SOHO's SWAN instrument could help to predict the solar storms that sometimes threaten the Earth. SWAN has seen something else extraordinary - the biggest shadow ever observed in our solar system, that of a comet projected on the sky behind it.
Published: 22 June 1999
"2% inspiration, 98% transpiration! A tribute to the dedicated personal efforts of 160 people all over the world" was how Francis Vandenbussche (ESA Recovery Manager) described the SOHO rescue mission, on accepting a Silver ESTEC Medal on behalf of the entire SOHO Recovery Team at a private function at ESTEC last Thursday 27 May.
Published: 7 June 1999
The Solar and Heliospheric Observer (SOHO), a joint ESA/NASAspace mission, observed a large coronal mass ejection (CME) on the Sun on 1June 1999, at 19:37 Universal Time. It was first spotted by solar physicistsat the American Astronomical Society meeting in Chicago, where the SOHO datawere being displayed in real time at theESA/SOHO exhibition booth, via an internet connection to NASA's Goddard SpaceFlight Center in Maryland.
Published: 4 June 1999
Three months after a challenging, long-distance space rescue, the European Space Agency's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is preparing for two important cosmic events: the 11 August solar eclipse in Europe and Asia - the last of this millennium - and an increase in solar activity on the Sun itself, called a solar maximum - thefirst of the next millennium.
Published: 17 May 1999
Like water gushing through cracks in a dam, scientists observed "fountains" of electrified gas, called the solar wind, flowing around magnetic regions on the Sun to begin their 3-million-kilometre-per-hour rush into space. Scientists have identified regions on the Sun where the high speed solar wind - a stream of electrified gas affecting Earth's space environment - originates.
Published: 3 February 1999
For the second time in six months, engineers have revitalised ESA's orbiting solar observatory SOHO, and have also set a space record.The spacecraft went into a self-protection mode (called Emergency Sun Reacquisition - or ESR) on 21 December, when the last of its three gyroscopes failed. Having lost a fundamental orientation system, SOHO continually fired onboard jets to keep its sensors pointed toward the sun.
Published: 2 February 1999
As part of a four-day American tour on current European/US cooperative projects, Prof. R.M. Bonnet, ESA's Director of Science, today visited NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (GSFC). During the visit he met with the SOHO management and operations teams, both to review forthcoming operations on SOHO and, more importantly, to offer his personal congratulations for the extraordinary efforts they put into the recovery of SOHO in the period June to October last year.
Published: 25 January 1999
At 17:49 UTC on 21 December, the SOHO Spacecraft went intoEmergencySun Reacquisition (ESR). Following a successful gyro calibrationmanoeuvre,prior to a planned orbit correction and momentum wheel managementactivities,the last of SOHO's gyros (Gyro B) failed to give the expected output.This occurred during transition from normal mode to momentum dumping mode,and resulted in the spacecraft transitioning into ESR-10.
Published: 21 December 1998
The SOHO recertification board, jointly chaired by ESA and NASA, met at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) on 2 and 3 December. The Board made a number of conclusions and recommendations, the first of which was to commend the 'outstanding achievements of the SOHO recovery team'.
Published: 6 December 1998
SOHO has been providing support for the Spartan 201-5 mission, which was deployed from the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-95) on 1 November and successfully captured again two days later.
Published: 3 November 1998
Brilliant new pictures of the Sun from the solar spacecraft SOHO show that its ordeal is coming to a happy ending, nearly four months after the ESA/NASA mission seemed lost in space on 24 June. Images from the Michelson Doppler Imager and the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope on SOHO (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) can be already seen on the Internet.
Published: 15 October 1998
The SOHO solar spacecraft yesterday, 16 September 1998, obeyed commands that turned its face fully towards the Sun. For the first time since 25 June, when SOHO spun out of control and communication was lost, it points the right way. The SOHO flight operations team reported success in the manoeuvre, which is called attitude recovery, at 18:30 UT on 16 September 1998.
Published: 17 September 1998
The SOHO mission interruption joint ESA/NASA SOHO investigation boardconcludes that "there were no anomalies on-board the SOHO spacecraft but that a number of ground errors led to the major loss of attitude experienced by thespacecraft." The full report is now available on-line.
Published: 4 September 1998
Activities to bring the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft back to normal operating conditions continue with good results as the SOHO mission interruption joint ESA/NASA investigation board today releases its final report analysing the causes that led to interruption of the spacecraft's observations on 25 June this year.
Published: 1 September 1998
Six days after receiving the first signal from the dormant SOHO Spacecraft, several blocks of telemetry data giving the spacecraft's on-board status were acquired late Saturday night, 8 August, at 23:15 hrs GMT. Further data acquisitions took place on Sunday 9 August and will continue in the following days."This is the best news I've heard since we lost contact with SOHO on 25 June" said Roger Bonnet, ESA's Director of Science. "I never gave up hope of some recovery of this fantastic mission. We should just hope that the damage sustained by SOHO's enforced period of deep freeze does not affect the scientific payload too much."
Published: 11 August 1998
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