Subject line: study of the Sun and its phenomena

Responsibility of the mission: ESA/NASA

Date of launch: December 2nd, 1995

End of mission: ongoing



SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) is a space telescope located 1,5 million kilometers away from Earth; it continuously monitors the Sun’s turbulent activity, restoring significant images and data of solar storms. Launched on December 2nd, 1995, from the Spaceport Florida Launch Complex 36, SOHO is often defined as the most important existing comet discoverer, since it discovered more than 2300 bodies in its over 20 years of operation. This skill is due to a privileged point of view, which allows the telescope to always keep the Sun and the objects approaching it under control. In fact, SOHO rotates along with the Earth around our star, in the L1 Lagrange point, where the combined gravities of the two bodies allows for an uninterrupted view of the Sun.

This choice allows the 12 on-board instruments to produce a huge amount of data and images, which are partly made public. In fact, the scientific community has been participating in the SOHO mission for many years, obtaining relevant results in the field of solar wind physics (for both the corona and the heliosphere).


Scientific goals

The probe carries on-board 12 scientific instruments; each of them is capable of observing independently the Sun, from the structure and dynamics of its internal part to the solar wind. In particular, the mission studies the temperature of the corona, the most external layer of the atmosphere

‣ News


Italy, France and Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the ‘SPACEFOUNDERS’ European program ‣

The Italian Space Agency (ASI), the French Space Agency (CNES) and the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich (UniBW) are committed to cooperating for ”SpaceFounders”, the European New Space accelerator launched in 2021 by CNES with UniBw MORE...

FRIDAY 12 MAY 2023

The fjords of Greenland observed by PRISMA ‣

The images shown on this page are elaborations of the visible and infrared bands of an acquisition over Greenland in May 2021 MORE...


The desertification of the Aral Sea ‣

This composition is obtained by processing a PRISMA image acquired in January 2021 on the Aral Sea area MORE...


JUICE is en route to unveil Jupiter’s secrets and Italy is onboard ‣

The European space science mission JUICE successfully launched into space.  State-of-the-art instruments developed and funded by the Italian Space Agency are featured aboard the probe. The Italian Agency has coordinated the participation in Juice of several entities, enterprises, and other national space agencies MORE...


Rivers in the tropical forest observed by PRISMA ‣

Iguazu Falls area observed by the Italian satellite MORE...