Heliophysics Sentinels 2020 (Forecast Version)

  • Released Monday, March 1st, 2021
  • Updated Friday, August 25th, 2023 at 12:14AM
  • ID: 4887

In addition to the NASA missions used in research for space weather (see 2020 Heliophysics Fleet) there are additional missions operated by NOAA used for space weather forecasting. As of spring 2020, here's a tour of the NASA and NOAA Heliophysics fleets from the near-Earth satellites out to the inner solar system.

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:

  • GOES East & GOES West: The GOES satellites provide continuous imagery of Earth's western hemisphere and monitor the solar X-ray flux.
  • 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.
  • DSCOVR: Observes Earth and measures the solar wind.
  • 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:

For More Information

See NASA.gov


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

DE 431
Ephemeris JPL 2020-01-01 to 2020-12-31

Planetary ephemerides SPICE kernel

See more visualizations using this data set
Space-Track TLE (A.K.A. Space-Track Two-Line Elements)
Ephemeris NORAD 2020-04-01 to 2020-06-01

Satellite ephemerides

Dataset can be found at: http://Space-Track.org

See more visualizations using this data set
SSCweb ephemerides (A.K.A. SSCweb)
Ephemeris NASA/GSFC Space Physics Data Facility 2020-01-01 to 2020-05-24

Satellite ephemerides

Dataset can be found at: http://sscweb.gsfc.nasa.gov

See more visualizations using this data set

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