Solar Physics Division Meeting 2000, June 19-22
Session 16. Near-Future Instrumentation
Oral, Chair: C. E. DeForest, Thursday, June 22, 2000, 3:30-5:00pm, Forum

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[16.03] Mission to Provide First Stereo Views of Solar Eruptions

M. Guhathakurta (NASA/HQ), J. Davila (NASA/GSFC)

STEREO mission will for the first time unveil the Sun in three dimensions. Its objective is to address the origin, evolution and interplanetary consequences of one the most massive disturbances in our solar system called the coronal mass ejection (CME). This will be achieved by sending two identically instrumented spacecraft, both at 1 AU orbit around the Sun, but one flying well ahead of the Earth and one behind. The instrument suite for STEREO will characterize the CME plasma all the way from the solar surface to the orbit of the Earth. These instruments will measure physical characteristics of CME's with remote sensing and local sensing instruments, allowing scientists to determine solar origins of CME's, their propagation into the interplanetary medium and ultimately their consequences on Earth's magnetic field. By viewing CME's from two different vantage points, STEREO will be able to pinpoint their speed and distance from Earth, and thus more accurately time the arrival of the plasma cloud. The planned 2004 launch date will enable STEREO to make observations during the simpler, declining phase of the current activity cycle, which is expected to reach solar maximum around the year 2000.

The STEREO mission is a multilateral international collaboration involving participants from France, Germany, the United States, and United Kingdom. STEREO is the third mission within NASA's Solar-Terrestrial Probe (STP) Program, under the Agency's Sun-Earth Connections Theme.

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