Washington: The US space agency NASA is celebrating 20 years of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) in space on Wednesday, 2 December.
Launched on 2 December 1995 to study the sun, the observatory revolutionised this field of science, known as heliophysics, providing the basis for nearly 5,000 scientific papers.
The spacecraft has captured a number of detailed images of the sun allowing scientists to monitor changes in solar energy, solar wind, and more.
To mark the occasion, NASA has released a stunning video featuring highlights from SOHO's 20 years in space. Watch the video here-
Video credit: NASA Goddard/YouTube
SOHO also found an unexpected role as the greatest comet hunter of all time - reaching 3,000 comet discoveries in September 2015.
“SOHO changed the popular view of the sun from a picture of a static, unchanging object in the sky to the dynamic beast it is,” Bernhard Fleck, ESA SOHO project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a press release.
It is a joint project of international cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA.
The mission, which was originally planned for only two years, received approval to carry on until 2016.