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In the News – Year 2015

12.17.15 – MMS Delivers Promising Initial Results
Just under four months into the science phase of the mission, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, is delivering promising early results on a process called magnetic reconnection — a kind of magnetic explosion that's related to everything from the northern lights to solar flares.

12.11.15 – Saving NASA's STEREO-B: The 189-million-mile Road to Recovery
On Oct. 1, 2014, NASA mission operations lost communication with one of the two spacecraft of the Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, mission, just as the spacecraft was about to orbit around the other side of the sun.

12.01.15 – SOHO Celebrates 20 Years of Space-based Science
After 20 years in space, ESA and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, is still going strong.

12.01.15 – A Look Back at NASA Solar Missions
Twenty years ago, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a cooperative effort between NASA and the European Space Agency, launched into space and revolutionized our study of the sun and a scientific discipline called heliophysics — the study of how the sun's influence spreads out in all directions, able to dramatically affect the space environment near Earth and throughout the solar system.

11.19.15 – NASA's STEREO-A Resumes Normal Operations
On Nov. 9, 2015, NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory Ahead, or STEREO-A, once again began transmitting data at its full rate.

11.10.15 – NASA's Beach Ball Coronagraph
What's better at blocking sunlight: a traditional flat occulter disk or a beach ball?

11.03.15 – NASA Observes Auroras Across Canada
The dancing lights in the image above are the aurora borealis or Northern Lights. These auroras are at their most dynamic during geomagnetic storms—often the result of solar storms called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, that originate from the sun.

10.28.15 – How TIMED Flies: Unexpected Trends in Carbon Data
NASA's TIMED mission, short for Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics, has confirmed a surprisingly fast carbon dioxide increase in Earth's upper atmosphere, raising questions about how different layers of the atmosphere are interconnected.

10.16.15 – NASA's MMS Spacecraft Achieve Tightest Flying Formation Ever
On Oct. 15, 2015, a NASA mission broke its own record: the four satellites of its Magnetospheric Multiscale mission are now flying at their smallest separation, the tightest multi-spacecraft formation ever flown in orbit.

10.13.15 – Comet Encke: A Solar Windsock Observed by NASA's STEREO
Much like the flapping of a windsock displays the quick changes in wind's speed and direction, called turbulence, comet tails can be used as probes of the solar wind — the constant flowing stream of material that leaves the sun in all directions.

10.09.15 – Fast Solar Wind Causes Aurora Light Shows
On the night of Oct. 8, 2015, a photographer in Harstad, Norway captured this image of the dancing northern lights.

10.07.15 – NASA Measuring the Pulsating Aurora
Thanks to a lucky conjunction of two satellites, a ground-based array of all-sky cameras, and some spectacular aurora borealis, researchers have uncovered evidence for an unexpected role that electrons have in creating the dancing auroras.

09.17.15 – TIMED Mission Celebrates 5,000 Days of Continuous Data Collection, Sixth Extended Mission
The NASA TIMED spacecraft, which studies the impact of solar- and human-induced disturbances on Earth's upper atmosphere, celebrated 5,000 days of continuous data collection on Aug. 15.

09.15.15 – ESA/NASA Solar Observatory Discovers Its 3,000th Comet
On Sept. 13, 2015, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory — a joint project of the European Space Agency and NASA — discovered its 3,000th comet, cementing its standing as the greatest comet finder of all time.

09.10.15 – Partial Solar Eclipse on Sept. 13, 2015; NASA Releases Visualizations of 2017 Total Eclipse
An eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly—or nearly directly, in the case of a partial solar eclipse—between the sun and Earth.

08.25.15 – IRIS and Hinode: A Stellar Research Team
Modern telescopes and satellites have helped us measure the blazing hot temperatures of the sun from afar.

07.30.15 – Nearing 3000 Comets: SOHO Solar Observatory Greatest Comet Hunter of All Time
In 1995, a new solar observatory was launched. A joint project of ESA and NASA, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory – SOHO – has been sending home images of our dynamic sun ever since.

07.29.15 – NASA's MMS Formation Will Give Unique Look at Magnetic Reconnection
On July 9, 2015 the four spacecraft of NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission began flying in a pyramid shape for the first time.

07.16.15 – STEREO-A Spacecraft Returns Data From the Far Side of the Sun
This image of the sun was taken on July 15, 2015, with the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager onboard NASA's Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory Ahead (STEREO-A) spacecraft, which collects images in several wavelengths of light that are invisible to the human eye.

07.16.15 – NASA Cites the Return of the STEREO-A Spacecraft
On July 11, 2015 we received our first images in over three months from NASA's Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory Ahead spacecraft, or STEREO-A. Since March 24, 2015, STEREO-A has been on the far side of the sun, where it has had to operate in safe mode, collecting and saving data from its radio instrument.

07.09.15 – Scientists Study Atmosphere of Venus through Transit Images
Two of NASA's heliophysics missions can now claim planetary science on their list of scientific findings. A group of scientists used the Venus transit - a very rare event where a planet passes between Earth and the sun, appearing to us as a dark dot steadily making its way across the sun's bright face - to make measurements of how the Venusian atmosphere absorbs different kinds of light.

05.12.15 – DHS/NASA Space Weather Twitter Chat
When solar storms release solar flares and coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, toward Earth, we can feel the effects here on the ground.

04.28.15 – The Fearsome Foursome: Technologies Enable Ambitious MMS Mission
It was unprecedented developing a mission that could fly four identically equipped spacecraft in a tight formation and take measurements 100 times faster than any previous space mission – an achievement enabled in part by four NASA-developed technologies that in some cases took nearly 10 years to mature.

04.22.15 – NASA Goddard Team Sets High Flying Record with Use of GPS
After years of hard work building a spacecraft, a mission team anxiously awaits after a launch – will the instruments they've crafted all work as well as planned?

04.09.15 – NASA Study Finds Small Solar Eruptions Can Have Profound Effects On Unprotected Planets
While no one yet knows what's needed to build a habitable planet, it's clear that the interplay between the sun and Earth is crucial for making our planet livable – a balance between a sun that provides energy and a planet that can protect itself from the harshest solar emissions.

04.08.15 – Seasonal, Year-Long Cycles Seen on the Sun
Our sun is constantly changing. It goes through cycles of activity – swinging between times of relative calm and times when frequent explosions on its surface can fling light, particles and energy out into space.

03.24.15 – NASA Funded Mission Studies the Sun in Soft X-Rays
At any given moment, our sun emits a range of light waves far more expansive than what our eyes alone can see: from visible light to extreme ultraviolet to soft and hard X-rays.

03.16.15 – MMS: Five Years, Four Spacecraft, Thousands of Inspired Students
“It;s vital to instill passion in kids by talking about how NASA researches and explores the environment around us and in space.” - Troy Cline.

03.13.15 – Key Tests At NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Lab Ensure Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission Instrument Operations
Scientists at the Marshall Center are watching as the Magnetospheric Multiscale satellites' 16 Dual Ion Spectrometer, or DIS, flight sensors turn on.

03.12.15 – Launch Begins MMS Mission in Spectacular Fashion
The four spacecraft of NASA's MMS spacecraft are flying high above Earth to begin a comprehensive experiment designed to uncover the details of magnetic reconnection and the energy it produces.

03.11.15 – Superfast Sensors for New MMS Mission
Scheduled to launch on March 12, 2015, the MMS mission carries sensors with unprecedented observational speeds, including, the Fast Plasma Investigation, or FPI, which was built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

03.10.15 – NASA to Investigate Magnetic Explosions
Magnetic reconnection could be the Universe's favorite way to make things explode. The problem is, researchers can't explain it.

03.10.15 – Studying Magnetic Reconnection Near Earth
The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission is scheduled to launch on March 12, 2015. It will study magnetic reconnection, a process at the heart of many events in space.

02.25.15 – Pre-Launch Briefing for the MMS Mission
On Feb. 25, 2015, at a pre-launch press-briefing at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, four scientists will discuss the past and future of the MMS mission.

02.19.15 – New NASA Movie on the MMS Mission
NASA releases a movie on the new Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission due to launch on March 12, 2015.

01.22.15 – SOHO and Hinode Offer New Insight Into Solar Eruptions
A journal paper in Nature magazine on Oct. 23, 2014, used data from NASA missions to describe what triggers a Coronal Mass Ejection.