The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, Soho, is a joint venture of ESA and NASA. The main objectives of Soho are: a) the study and understanding of solar coronal phenomena; and b) the study of the solar structure and interior dynamics from its core to the photosphere. The primary goals of the coronal and solar wind studies are to understand the coronal heating mechanism and its expansion into the solar wind.
These goal will be achieved both by remote sensing of the solar atmosphere with high resolution spectrometers and telescopes and by “in situ” measurement of the composition and energy of the resulting solar wind and the energetic particles that propagate through it. The structure and interior dynamics will be studied by helio-seismological methods and the measurement of solar irradiance variations. The Soho spacecraft will be three-axis stabilized and located in a halo orbit around the L1 Lagrangian point (approximately 1% of the distance from the Earth to the Sun). It is currently scheduled for launch in July 1995.