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The Question

(Submitted November 14, 1997)

In regards to the Solar Maximum mission, I was wondering if there have been any similar missions lately. If not was there a mission or something that was started in 1980 during February and was continued later and in the present. Or if they were not continued, was there anything similar?

The Answer

Solar Max was launched in Feb. 1980, and continued operating until it reentered in December 1989 (except for a few months in 1983-1984, until it was repaired by Space Shuttle astronauts).

Two space observatories looking at the Sun right now are SOHO and Yohkoh (one of several Yohkoh instruments)

SOHO is an ESA/NASA collaboration, Yohkoh is Japanese.

The latest pictures of the Sun from these and other solar observatories are at

David Palmer
for Ask an Astrophysicist

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