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Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO)The solar magnetic field is constantly generated beneath the surface of the Sun by the solar dynamo. To balance this flux generation, there is constant dissipation of magnetic flux at and above the solar surface. The largest phenomenon associated with this dissipation is the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has provided remarkable views of the corona and CMEs, and served to highlight how these large interplanetary disturbances can have terrestrial consequences. STEREO is the next logical step to study the physics of CME origin, propagation, and terrestrial effects. Two spacecraft with identical instrument complements will be launched on a single launch vehicle in November 2007. One spacecraft will drift ahead and the second behind the Earth at a separation rate of 22 degrees per year. Observation from these two vantage points will for the first time allow the observation of the three-dimensional structure of CMEs and the coronal structures where they originate. Each STEREO spacecraft carries a complement of 10 instruments, which include (for the first time) an extensive set of both remote sensing and in-situ instruments. The remote sensing suite is capable of imaging CMEs from the solar surface out to beyond Earth's orbit (1 AU), and in-situ instruments are able to measure distribution functions for electrons, protons, and ions over a broad energy range, from the normal thermal solar wind plasma to the most energetic solar particles. It is anticipated that these studies will ultimately lead to an increased understanding of the CME process and provide unique observations of the flow of energy from the corona to the near-Earth environment. An international research program, the International Heliophysical Year (IHY) will provide a framework for interpreting STEREO data in the context of global processes in the Sun-Earth system.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Davila, Joseph M. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
SaintCyr, O. C. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Meeting Information
IUGG 2003(Sapporo)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.