Sun  ID: 4822

Heliophysics Sentinels 2020

There have been few changes since the 2018 Heliophysics Fleet. Van Allen Probes and SORCE have been decommissioned, while Solar Orbiter, ICON and SET have been added. As of spring 2020, here's a tour of the NASA Heliophysics fleet from the near-Earth satellites out to the Voyagers beyond the heliopause.

Excepting the Voyager missions, 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
  • TIMED: Studies the upper layers (40-110 miles up) of Earth's atmosphere. SVS page
  • ICON: Works with GOLD on studies of the ionosphere.
  • AIM: Images and measures noctilucent clouds. SVS page
  • IRIS: Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph is designed to take high-resolution spectra and images of the region between the solar photosphere and solar atmosphere. SVS page
  • SET: Space Environment Testbed exploring radiation-hardening technologies

Geosynchronous Fleet:

  • SDO: Solar Dynamics Observatory keeps the Sun under continuous observation at 16 megapixel resolution. SVS page
  • GOLD: Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk is a spectroscopic imager for studying the ionosphere.

Geospace Fleet:

Lunar Orbiting Fleet:

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

Sun-Earth Lagrange Point One Fleet:

The L1 point is a Lagrange Point between the Sun and the Earth. Spacecraft can orbit this location for continuous coverage of the Sun.
  • SOHO: Studies the Sun with cameras and a multitude of other instruments. SVS page
  • ACE: Measures the composition and characteristics of the solar wind. SVS page
  • Wind: Measures particle flows and fields in the solar wind. SVS page

Solar Orbiting Fleet:


Interstellar Fleet:

  • Voyager 1 & Voyager 2: The two Voyager spaceraft orbit originally performed flybys of the outer planets of the solar system but continued to operate. They are now the most distant monitors of the plasma in the space between the stars. At the time of this visualization, Voyager 2 has just crossed the heliopause.SVS page
 

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Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Visualizer
Laurence Schuler (ADNET): Technical Support
Ian Jones (ADNET): Technical Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Short URL to share this page:
https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4822

Missions:
ACE
THEMIS and ARTEMIS
Geotail
Hinode (Solar-b)
IBEX
Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON)
IRIS: Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph
Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS)
SDO
SOHO
Parker Solar Probe
Solar Orbiter Collaboration
STEREO
THEMIS
TIMED
Voyager
WIND
Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD)
Space Environment Testbeds (SET)

Data Used:
SSCweb 2020-01-01 to 2020-05-24
Space-Track Two-Line Elements 2020-04-01 to 2020-06-01
DE 431 2020-01-01 to 2020-12-31
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
Heliophysics Fleet

Keywords:
SVS >> SOHO
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> ACE
SVS >> Hinode
SVS >> STEREO
SVS >> Spacecraft >> Voyager
SVS >> Satellite Orbit
SVS >> MMS
NASA Science >> Sun
SVS >> Solar Orbiter
SVS >> IRIS Mission
SVS >> Parker Solar Probe