The 2015 Earth-Orbiting Heliophysics Fleet

  • Released Wednesday, June 10, 2015

There've been a few changes since the 2013 Earth-Orbiting Heliophysics Fleet. As of Spring of 2015, here's a tour of the NASA Near-Earth Heliophysics fleet, covering the space from near-Earth orbit out to the orbit of the Moon.

The satellite orbits are color coded for their observing program:

  • Magenta: TIM (Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere) observations
  • Yellow: solar observations and imagery

  • Cyan: Geospace and magnetosphere

  • Violet: Heliospheric observations

Near-Earth Fleet:

  • Hinode: Observes the Sun in multiple wavelengths up to x-rays. SVS page
  • RHESSI : Observes the Sun in x-rays and gamma-rays. SVS page
  • TIMED: Studies the upper layers (40-110 miles up) of the Earth's atmosphere.
  • CINDI: Measures interactions of neutral and charged particles in the ionosphere.
  • SORCE: Monitors solar intensity across a broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • AIM: Images and measures noctilucent clouds. SVS page
  • Van Allen Probes: Two probes moving along the same orbit designed to study the impact of space weather on Earth's radiation belts. SVS page
  • TWINS: Two Wide-Angle Imaging Neutral-Atom Spectrometers (TWINS) are two probes observing the Earth with neutral atom imagers.
  • IRIS: Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph is designed to take high-resolution spectra and images of the region between the solar photosphere and solar atmosphere.

Geosynchronous Fleet:

  • SDO: Solar Dynamics Observatory keeps the Sun under continuous observation at 16 megapixel resolution.

Geospace Fleet:

Lunar Orbiting Fleet:

  • ARTEMIS: Two of the THEMIS satellites were moved into lunar orbit to study the interaction of the Earth's magnetosphere with the Moon.

Major changes with earlier versions:
  • MMS added
  • GOES satellites removed
  • Cluster satellites removed
  • Camera moves around the night-side of Earth
  • .

Movie showing the heliosphysics missions from near Earth orbit out to the orbit of the Moon. This version shows the time of the orbit positions.



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio, the NASA/Goddard Satellite Situation Center, and Space Track.

Release date

This page was originally published on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 12:06 AM EST.


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