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STEREO Visits the Lagrange Points - L4 and L5

The two STEREO spacecraft orbit the Sun in orbits slightly different from the Earth. STEREO A orbits between the Earth and the Sun, while STEREO-B orbits beyond the Earth and the Sun. As a result, relative to the Earth, STEREO-A appears to move ahead of the Earth, while STEREO-B falls behind the Earth, in their motion around the Sun.

In this configuration, the two spacecraft are now passing near the two stable Lagrange Points, L4 and L5, of the Earth-Sun system. The STEREO spacecraft are imaging these regions in the hopes of finding material that might have been left over from the original formation of the Solar System.

Revision Note: April 15, 2009:It was pointed out that L4 and L5 were reversed in the initial release of this visualization. These animations and stills were revised to reflect the corrections. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Opening with a view of the inner solar system, this movie shows the inner planets and the Earth along with STEREO-A and B as they pass near L4 and L5.    Opening with a view of the inner solar system, this movie shows the inner planets and the Earth along with STEREO-A and B as they pass near L4 and L5.
Duration: 48.0 seconds
Available formats:
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-4   10 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) MPEG-2   100 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   16 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   16 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) Frames
  1280x720   JPEG         203 KB
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We start with a top-down view of the inner solar system. The Earth and its orbit are blue. The two STEREO spacecraft are green, and the environments of the Lagrange points, L4 and L5, are gray bands along the Earth's orbit. The actual deepest point in the gravitational potential is marked by the labels.    We start with a top-down view of the inner solar system. The Earth and its orbit are blue. The two STEREO spacecraft are green, and the environments of the Lagrange points, L4 and L5, are gray bands along the Earth's orbit. The actual deepest point in the gravitational potential is marked by the labels.

Available formats:
  2560 x 1440     TIFF       3 MB


The camera moves down towards the plane of the ecliptic.    The camera moves down towards the plane of the ecliptic.

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  2560 x 1440     TIFF       2 MB


The camera transitions to a coordinate system moving with the Earth, keeping the Earth stationary in the field of view while the rest of the solar system spins around it.    The camera transitions to a coordinate system moving with the Earth, keeping the Earth stationary in the field of view while the rest of the solar system spins around it.

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  2560 x 1440     TIFF       4 MB
  320 x 180         PNG       86 KB


One last look...    One last look...

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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3591
Animation Number:3591
Completed:2009-04-02
Animators:Tom Bridgman (GST) (Lead)
 Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC)
Scientists:Michael Kaiser (NASA/GSFC)
 Therese Kucera (NASA/GSFC)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:SSCweb (2008-11-01 to 2009-12-30)
 STEREO
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Earth
SVS >> Gravity
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Mars
SVS >> Mercury
SVS >> Sun
SVS >> Venus
SVS >> Orbit
SVS >> Big Bang
SVS >> Lagrange Points
SVS >> STEREO
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Birth of Solar System
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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