Solar Physics

, Volume 256, Issue 1–2, pp 219–237 | Cite as

Two Years of the STEREO Heliospheric Imagers

Invited Review
  • Richard A. Harrison
  • Jackie A. Davies
  • Alexis P. Rouillard
  • Christopher J. Davis
  • Christopher J. Eyles
  • Danielle Bewsher
  • Steve R. Crothers
  • Russell A. Howard
  • Neil R. Sheeley
  • Angelos Vourlidas
  • David F. Webb
  • Daniel S. Brown
  • Gareth D. Dorrian
STEREO SCIENCE RESULTS AT SOLAR MINIMUM

Abstract

Imaging of the heliosphere is a burgeoning area of research. As a result, it is awash with new results, using novel applications, and is demonstrating great potential for future research in a wide range of topical areas. The STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) Heliospheric Imager (HI) instruments are at the heart of this new development, building on the pioneering observations of the SMEI (Solar Mass Ejection Imager) instrument aboard the Coriolis spacecraft. Other earlier heliospheric imaging systems have included ground-based interplanetary scintillation (IPS) facilities and the photometers on the Helios spacecraft. With the HI instruments, we now have routine wide-angle imaging of the inner heliosphere, from vantage points outside the Sun-Earth line. HI has been used to investigate the development of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) as they pass through the heliosphere to 1 AU and beyond. Synoptic mapping has also allowed us to see graphic illustrations of the nature of mass outflow as a function of distance from the Sun – in particular, stressing the complexity of the near-Sun solar wind. The instruments have also been used to image co-rotating interaction regions (CIRs), to study the interaction of comets with the solar wind and CMEs, and to witness the impact of CMEs and CIRs on planets. The very nature of this area of research – which brings together aspects of solar physics, space-environment physics, and solar-terrestrial physics – means that the research papers are spread among a wide range of journals from different disciplines. Thus, in this special issue, it is timely and appropriate to provide a review of the results of the first two years of the HI investigations.

Keywords

Coronal mass ejection Heliosphere Solar wind Co-rotating interaction regions 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Harrison
    • 1
  • Jackie A. Davies
    • 1
  • Alexis P. Rouillard
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christopher J. Davis
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Eyles
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Danielle Bewsher
    • 1
    • 5
  • Steve R. Crothers
    • 1
  • Russell A. Howard
    • 6
  • Neil R. Sheeley
    • 6
  • Angelos Vourlidas
    • 6
  • David F. Webb
    • 7
    • 8
  • Daniel S. Brown
    • 5
  • Gareth D. Dorrian
    • 5
  1. 1.Space Science and Technology DepartmentSTFC Rutherford Appleton LaboratoryChilton, DidcotUK
  2. 2.Space Environment Physics Group, School of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.School of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  4. 4.Laboratorio de Procesado de ImagenesUniversidad de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  5. 5.Institute of Mathematics and PhysicsAberystwyth UniversityAberystwythUK
  6. 6.Space Science DivisionNaval Research LaboratoryWashingtonUSA
  7. 7.Institute for Scientific ResearchBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA
  8. 8.Air Force Research LaboratoryHanscom, AFBUSA

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