The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory


An Artist's Impression of SOHO


The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is an international cooperation between ESA and NASA. Launched in 1995 and originally planned for a 2-year operational lifetime, ESA's Science Programme Committee has approved operations to at least 31 December 2016. SOHO is located near to the Earth-Sun L1 point, some 0.01 AU from the Earth. 

The main scientific objectives of the mission are:

  • To investigate the outer layer of the Sun consisting of the chromosphere, transition region and corona
  • Make observations of the solar wind and associated phenomena near L1
  • Probe the interior of the Sun using helioseismology

In addition to its solar studies, SOHO has also been a very successful comet hunter.

For more information about SOHO please visit: