Transcripts of AlexYoung_SOHO_lowres

[reporter] Well NASA is celebrating 20 years of studying the Sun. Today is the 20th Anniversary of NASA's SOHO Mission and here to tell us more about it from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland is NASA Scientist Doctor Alex Young. Thank you for joining us. [Dr. Young] Thank You it's my pleasure. [reporter] So, How has SOHO changed our understanding of the Sun and Solar System? [Dr. Young] Well SOHO has given us this first look at the Sun both at a holistic picture as well as all the detail that are happening and this global view we've been able to look inside of the Sun as well as seeing this incredible dynamic phenomena happening on the surface as well as things lifting off and exploding into space filling our entire solar system and this is something we have never done before with such amazing, amazing detail with such a huge suite of all these amazing scientific instrumentation. [reporter] cool. now we heard that SOHO was almost lost in space. Could you tell us what happen? [Dr. Young] Yeah, so not long after the mission began, during a normal maneuvers scientists and engineers lost contact with the spacecraft, but fortunately you have this incredibly smart and ingenious team of scientists and engineers who work really hard over several months and what was almost a heroic level of effort they were able to recover the spacecraft and keep it going and now we've had it for 20 years. [reporter] Wow, Now why does NASA study the Sun? [Dr. Young] Well, in addition to just being the this center of the solar system that's driving all of the heat and light which is important to us. The Sun is constantly throwing off huge amounts of energy and material and this stuff travels through the solar system and it can impact the Earth. It can produce beautiful phenomenon like aurora but it can also impact our technology, our communications our satellites and even our power grids. So it's really important that we understand both the beginnings and origins of this as well how to one day forecast it just like we do here with weather on Earth and we are getting close to that right now. [reporter] Well the SOHO mission lasted much longer than planned. How is it still being used today? [Dr. Young] Well right now, SOHO is the first operational spacecraft space weather instrument. This is in particular is called a chronograph, this is a telescope that creates an artificial eclipse and allows us to block out the bright Sun and see the outer part of the solar atmosphere, we can see all of this amazing matter blasting out. As a matter of fact we've even been able to study over 3 thousand comets which not something that the mission was originally designed for. [reporter] Great, now where can we go to learn more? [Dr. Young] You can go find out more at and you can also check us out at Twitter @NASASunEarth [reporter] Great, Dr. Alex Young thank you so much for joining us. [Dr. Young] Thank You.