DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SOHO solar physics spacecraft. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft seen during testing at the Matra-Marconi test centre, Cannes, France. SOHO studies the Sun's surface and atmosphere and the solar wind in order to increase our understanding of a variety of solar processes. The spacecraft makes observations from an orbit about the L1 Sun-Earth Lagrangian point. This is about 1.5 million km from Earth, and is the point between the Sun and Earth where their respective gravitational forces on the spacecraft cancel out. SOHO is part of the International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) project, and was launched on 2 December 1995.
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