News archive

News archive

Having succeeded in receiving a response from the SOHO spacecraft late on Monday night (3 August 1998), controllers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center(GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA have continued to coax information from the spacecraft concerning its on-board status.
Published: 6 August 1998
Contact has been re-established with the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) following six weeks of silence. Signals sent yesterday through the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) station at Canberra, Australia, were answered at 22:51 UT in the form of bursts of signal lasting from 2 to 10 seconds. These signals were recorded both by the NASA DSN station and the ESA Perth station. Contact is being maintained through the NASA DSN stations at Goldstone (California), Canberra and Madrid (Spain).
Published: 4 August 1998
Ground-based radio telescopes have been able to detect the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft and have found it slowly rotating near its original position in space, a potentially important step toward possible recovery of direct communications with the spacecraft.
Published: 27 July 1998
ESA and NASA engineers, reasoning that over thenext two-to-three months the spacecraft's solar panels will increasinglyface the Sun and generate power, are continuing their efforts to contactthe Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft.Meanwhile, the ESA/NASA investigation board concentrates its inquiry onthree errors that appear to have led to the interruption ofcommunications with SOHO on June 25. Officials remain hopeful that,based on ESA's successful recovery of the Olympus spacecraft after fourweeks under similar conditions in 1991, recovery of SOHO may bepossible.
Published: 16 July 1998
Engineers are continuing efforts to reestablish contact with the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft using NASA's Deep SpaceNetwork (DSN). Contact with SOHO was lost on 25 June (CEST) during maintenance operations.
Published: 30 June 1998
At 01:16 CEST 25 June 1998 (23:16 UT 24 June), during routine maintenance operations, ground controllers lost contact with the SOHO (Solar and Heliosopheric Observatory) spacecraft and the satellite went into Emergency Sun Reacquisition (ESR) mode. The ESR mode is activatedwhen an anomaly occurs and the spacecraft loses its orientation towards the Sun. When this happens, the spacecraft automatically tries to pointitself towards the Sun again by firing its attitude control thrusters under the guidance of an onboard Sun sensor.
Published: 26 June 1998
In a rare celestial spectacle, two comets have been observed plunging into the Sun's atmosphere in close succession, on June 1 and 2. This unusual event on Earth's own star was followed on June 2 by a likely unrelated but also dramatic ejection of solar gas and magnetic fields on the southwest (or lower right) limb of the Sun.
Published: 4 June 1998
Scientists have shown for the first time that solar flares produce seismic waves in the Sun's interior that closely resemble those created by earthquakes on our planet. The researchers observed a flare-generated solar quake that contained about 40 000 times the energy released in the great earthquake that devastated San Francisco in 1906. The amount of energy released was enough to power the United States for 20 years at its current level of consumption, and was equivalent to an 11.3 magnitude earthquake, scientists calculated.
Published: 28 May 1998
The Sun has tall gyrating storms far larger and faster than tornadoes on the Earth. This unexpected finding is among the latest results from the solar spacecraft SOHO, to be announced at a European Space Agency press briefing on 28 April. British scientists discovered the solar tornadoes in images and data from SOHO's scanning spectrometer CDS. So far they have detected a dozen such events. They occur most frequently near the north and south poles of the Sun and are almost as wide as the Earth.
Published: 24 April 1998
A likely solution to one of the major mysteries of the Sun has emerged from recent observations with the European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) mission. The new findings seem to account for a substantial part of the energy needed to cause the very high temperature of the corona, the outermost layer of the Sun's atmosphere, which becomes visible to the naked eye only during a total solar eclipse.
Published: 14 November 1997
Scientists using the joint European Space Agency (ESA)/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft have discovered "jet streams" or "rivers" of hot, electrically charged gas called plasma flowing beneath the surface of the Sun. They also found features similar to trade winds that transport gas beneath the Sun's fiery surface.
Published: 29 August 1997
An action-packed motion picture from ESA's solar spacecraft SOHO astonishes the experts and will enthral the public. It shows the Sun at Christmas sailing in front of the stars of the Sagittarius constellation and the Milky Way, while blowing its solar wind outwards in all directions around it. During the movie, the Sun swallows a comet. In a subsequent unconnected event it emits a plainly visible puff of gas, in a large mass ejection.
Published: 14 February 1997
A composite image from two instruments in the solar spacecraft SOHO gives a clear impression of different mechanisms at work in the solar atmosphere, creating two kinds of wind flowing outwards from the Sun. When the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory was launched, just a year ago this week, one of its main tasks was to identify the sources of the solar wind, which blows non-stop into the solar system and influences all the planets, including the Earth. This line of investigation is already full of promise.
Published: 9 December 1996
Human perceptions of the star that gives us life are changing rapidly as a thousand images a day stream from the sungazing SOHO spacecraft 1 500 000 kilometres out in space. Since its launch on 2 December 1995, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory has vastly improved the ability of scientists to probe the Sun's interior by detecting sound waves at its surface. SOHO also gives the best maps of the ever-changing patterns of magnetism at the Sun's visible surface. And the spacecraft has revealed and anatomized knots of hot activity that can occur in the solar atmosphere even when the visible surface of the Sun appears completely calm.
Published: 15 July 1996
ESA, the European Space Agency, NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are today releasing today a set of unprecedented images representing a time lapse movie of the bright Comet Hyakutake making its close approach to the Sun. The observations were made from 29 April to 6 May 1996 with the NRL-built Large Angle Spectrometric Coronograph (LASCO) instrument on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft.
Published: 24 May 1996
The Sun sparkles like a diamond in images from the new solar space observatory SOHO. Short, hair-like jets of strong emission decorate the Sun's atmosphere to an extent not clearly seen before. Recorded by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope EIT aboard SOHO, these "spicules" of various kinds tell of energetic upheavals that may be responsible for heating the outer atmosphere to more than two million degrees C. Also visible in the ultraviolet images are plumes like ropes, stretching far into space from the north and south poles of the Sun.
Published: 2 May 1996
SOHO, the international mission led by the European Space Agency is the most comprehensive space observatory to study the Sun that has been flown to date. Thanks to a highly accurate launch it will start its scientific investigations earlier than planned and will be able to operate much longer than expected. SOHO (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) will probe the interior of the Sun and address many fundamental questions about our daylight star.
Published: 24 January 1996
Scientists ability to study the Sun, the star that sustains life on Earth, took a massive leap forward today with the launch of SOHO, a sophisticated state-of-the-art spacecraft built by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Published: 2 December 1995
The launch of Atlas Centaur 121 and the SOHO spacecraft was scrubbed just prior to tower rollback at approximately 03:45 UT 23 November due to a malfunction of an Atlas booster precision regulator, which will require removal, replacement and failure analysis of the probable cause. The regulator provides reference pressure to control booster engine thrust. No decision on rescheduling has been made at this time.
Published: 23 November 1995
The Sun, our nearest star, will be studied in unprecedented detail when the European Space Agency's SOHO spacecraft is launched by NASA later this year. The name SOHO is an acronym for the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory. SOHO was also a medieval Anglo-French hunting cry; but this time the hunt is for answers to basic questions about the sun.
Published: 31 October 1995
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