Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

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Credit: ALEX LUTKUS/NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. SOHO was launched in December 1995 by an Atlas Centaur rocket and became operational in March 1996. SOHO weighs about two tons and with its solar panels extended is nearly 8 metres across. SOHO has been studying the Sun's surface, atmosphere and solar wind in order to increase our understanding of a variety of solar processes. As of 2010, it is still in operation and mission extensions to December 2012 have been approved.

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