On Dec. 2, 1995, NASA launched the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, also known as SOHO. This sun-monitoring satellite is a collaborative project between NASA and the European Space Agency that has been operational for more than 20 years.
SOHO's main objective was to investigate the physics behind how the sun works. It also provides useful data for predicting space weather events like solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can cause problems for satellites and other infrastructure on Earth. SOHO is also a tool for discovering comets, something it wasn't even designed to do.
The satellite launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on an Atlas II rocket and took about four months to reach its destination at the L1 Lagrange point, an area in space where the gravity of the sun and the Earth balance each other out.
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- What's Inside the Sun? A Star Tour from the Inside Out
On This Day in Space Archive!
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