Satellites that Study the Interstellar Medium

These satellites have all been involved with the in-situ study of the interstellar medium:


IBEX: Interstellar Boundary Explorer

  • Brand-new, still in development -- IBEX will examine the neutral particles that flow into the solar system from interstellar space!
AMPTE logo AMPTE (Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers):
  • The SULEICA (SUprathermaL Energy Ionic Charge Analyzer) instrument on AMPTE was the first to detect pickup ions in space.
  • The paper describing these discoveries was published in Nature in 1985.
Ulysses logo Ulysses:
SOHO Logo SOHO (SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory):
  • SOHO's mission is to study solar and interstellar energetic particles.
Wind Logo WIND:
  • WIND was launched on November 1, 1994 and is the first of two NASA spacecraft in the Global Geospace Science initiative and part of the ISTP Project.
  • The instruments on WIND measure plasma, energetic particles, and magnetic fields in the magnetosphere and ionosphere; determine magnetospheric output to interplanetary space from the upstream region, and investigate basic plasma processes in the near-Earth solar wind.
ACE Logo ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer):
  • ACE was launched in late August, 1997.
  • Its mission is to study the composition of solar, interplanetary, and interstellar matter.
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