Solar Physics Laboratory


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Displaying records 1 to 11 of 11.


Flight Project


Hinode, formerly known as Solar-B, is a satellite equipped with three advanced solar telescopes to explore the magnetic fields of the sun. The spacecraft's solar optical telescope (SOT), X-ray telescope, and EUV imaging spectrometer were designed to study the heating mechanism and dynamics of the extended solar atmosphere (corona). The observations will improve understanding of the mechanisms that power the corona and drive solar eruptions. Hinode was launched in 2006.

HINODE solar image.

HINODE Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS)

EIS will provide monochromatic images of the transition region and corona at high cadence using a slot. High spectral resolution images can be obtained by rastering with a slit.

Working Group

Living With a Star Program (LWS)

The Living With a Star program emphasizes the science necessary to improve our understanding of how and why the sun varies; how Earth and the solar system respond; and how the variability and response affect humanity in space and on Earth. One of the program's key goals is to improve our ability to forecast geomagnetic storms and other forms of stormy "space weather." Such events can interrupt or damage satellite communications systems, trigger surges in power grid systems, and increase radiation hazards to orbiting astronauts and spacecraft.

Living With a Star (LWS) logo
Flight Project

Parker Solar Probe

Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the Sun's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launched on Aug. 12, 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth. In order to unlock the mysteries of the corona, but also to protect a society that is increasingly dependent on technology from the threats of space weather, we will send Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun.

Key Staff
    Parker Solar Probe mission logo
    Flight Project

    Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)

    The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) was designed to study the internal structure of the sun, its extensive outer atmosphere, and the origin of the solar wind. The SOHO spacecraft was built in Europe by an industry team under the overall management of the European Space Agency. European and American scientists provided the 12 instruments on SOHO. NASA was responsible for the launch and is now responsible for mission operations, with mission control based at Goddard Space Flight Center. SOHO was launched in December 1995.

    SoHO artist's concept
    Data Centers

    Solar Data Analysis Center (SDAC)

    Solar Data Analysis Center (SDAC) provides resources for solar imagery and related solar-terrestrial observations.

    SDAC Logo
    Flight Project

    Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)

    The Solar Dynamics Observatory will further our understanding of the sun's influence on Earth and near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time, and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

    Key Staff
      SDO Project image
      Flight Project

      Solar Orbiter

      Solar Orbiter will provide close-up views of the Sun's polar regions and its back-side and will tune its orbit to the direction of the Sun's rotation as to allow the spacecraft to observe one specific area for much longer than currently possible.

      Solar Orbiter Logo

      Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO)

      The Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) consists of two space-based observatories. One spacecraft orbits ahead of Earth and the other trails behind. STEREO has revealed the three-dimensional structure of coronal mass ejections -- violent eruptions of matter from the sun that can disrupt satellites and power grids. The twin spacecraft are components of NASA's fleet of space weather detection satellites. STEREO launched in October 2006.

      STEREO artist's conception


      The Cor1 coronagraphs are part of the Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI) package onboard the twin STEREO spacecrafts.

      STEREO COR1 image
      Data Centers

      Virtual Solar Observatory (VSO)

      The Virtual Solar Observatory (VSO) is a software system linking together distributed archives of solar data into a unified whole, along with data search and analysis tools.

      VSO logo