STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) is a mission of NASA, which
consists of two nearly identical spacecraft circling the Sun. One is ahead of
the Earth, the other is trailing behind. This provides the first stereoscopic
view of the Sun, and thus giving essential information about coronal mass
ejections (CME, or commonly called solar eruptions). The principal aims of these
The instruments on board are:
- understand the causes and mechanisms of CME
- characterize the propagation of CMEs through the heliosphere
- find the mechanisms of the acceleration of particles
- understand better the solar wind
The spacecraft were launched on 2006. They were placed in their respective orbits
by gravity-assist passes around the Moon.
- SECCHI (Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation)
- Extreme ultraviolet imager: provides solar images at certain wavelengths
which are indicative for various temperatures:
- 171 A: Fe IX and Fe X lines: 1 million K
- 195 A: Fe XII: 1.4 million K
- 284 A: Fe XV: 2.2 million K
- 304 A: He II: 60000..80000 K
- White light coronographs: for inner and outer Corona
- Heliospheric imager (the latter also help to detect sungrazing comets)
- SWAVES tracks interplanetary radio bursts to study the generation and evolution of
radio disturbances traveling from the Sun to the orbit of Earth
- IMPACT sample the 3D distribution of solar energetic particles
- PLASTIC provide plasma characteristics of protons, alpha particles, and heavy ions
Links to NASA facilities
Collaboration with Kiel University
The Institut für Extraterrestische Physik runs two experiments on the Stereo
spacecraft. We provide the institute with the received data, and thus make it possible
to inspect and use them immediately, instead of a delay of typical 2 days.
In collaboration with the IQSH and
the University in the framework of the
Enrichment-Program of the Ministry of Education and Culture a project
is being prepared which offers to talented pupils in the areas of physics and
informatics the possibility to participate in the interpretation and utilization
of the obtained data.
Instructions to search among the STEREO images
To select the images received in Kiel-Rönne, proceed as follows:
1. Choose the time
Space Weather Beacon Coverage
- Select the time interval during which only Kiel could recieve.
- The data you find with "KIE": Amateur station DL0SHF, Kiel-Rönne, Germany
2. Select an image
- Open Search for Stereo Image
- Select for Stereo A (Ahead = rot) "Ahead EUVI 195" with
512 x 512 as well as 'slide show' and 'Latest Images', e.g. 90.
After confirming 'Search' there will be a lengthy time to wait.
For Stereo B (Behind = blue) use "Behind EUVI 195".