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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Intrepid Solar Spacecraft Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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GREENBELT, Md., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Solar and HeliosphericObservatory (SOHO) spacecraft celebrates its 10th anniversary Dec. 2 . The SOHOmission, a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), hasallowed scientists to make significant advances in understanding the closeststar, our sun. This includes understanding the violent solar activity thatcauses stormy space weather, which can disrupt satellites, radio communicationand power systems on Earth.

"It's impossible to overstate the importance of SOHO to the worldwidesolar science community," said Dr. Joe Gurman , U.S. project scientist for SOHOat NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. "In the last ten years,SOHO has revolutionized our ideas about the solar interior and atmosphere andthe acceleration of the solar wind."

Some of SOHO's major scientific accomplishments include:

- Allowing space weather forecasters to play a lead role in the earlywarning system for space weather and give up to three days notice of Earth-directed disturbances.

- Supplying the most detailed and precise measurements beneath the surfaceof the sun.

- Providing the first images of a star's turbulent outer shell (theconvection zone) and of the structure of sunspots beneath the solar surface.

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