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Title:
What have we learned with SOHO?
Authors:
Schwenn, Rainer
Publication:
Coronal and Stellar Mass Ejections, IAU Symposium Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 226, Held 13-17 September, Beijing, edited by K. Dere, J. Wang, and Y. Yan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005., pp.19-20
Publication Date:
00/2005
Origin:
CUP
DOI:
10.1017/S1743921305000086
Bibliographic Code:
2005IAUS..226...19S

Abstract

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a space mission of international collaboration between ESA and NASA, has been operating almost continuosly since early 1996. The Sun and the heliosphere went through both: the minimum and maxumum of solar activity in 1996 and 2000, respectively. The perfectly working set of modern solar telescopes and insitu instrumentation has been producing an unprecedented set of most valuable observational data that are almost immediately available to the public via the Internet. A wealth of new results has been published in innumerable papers. For CME research in particular, SOHO has started a new era. CME evolution can now be studied from their initiation up to the arrival of the ejecta clouds at 1 AU. For the first time, helioseismological observations reveal flow vortices underneath sunspots, i.e., activity centers that are involved in subsequebt eruptions. Combined EUV disk observations and coronagraph images allow to differentiate between CMEs pointed towards to or away from the Earth. Thus, space weather predictions have achieved a new quality. The occurrence of "EIT waves" at CME onset was discovered, the internal structure of CMEs (including "disconnection", magnetic topology and helicity, etc.) was made visible, statitics about CME properties and their change with solar activity were refined. Spectacular CME images and animations have been attracting the public to an unexpected extent, to the benefit of solar research in general.

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