The joint NASA/ESA spacecraft SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory), launched in 1995, is designed to study the internal structure of the Sun, its extensive outer atmosphere and the origin of the solar wind. The view of the Sun is achieved by operating SOHO from a permanent vantage point 1.5 million kilometers sunward of the Earth in a halo orbit around the L1 Lagrangian point.
STEREO is a NASA mission launched in 2006 that provides for the first time 3D observations of the Sun and the inner heliosphere in order to help unveil the origin, evolution and interplanetary consequences of coronal mass ejections.
Sunrise is a balloon-borne solar observatory with a 1m telescope that provides from a height of about 35km und thus beyond the disturbing influence of Earth’s atmosphere high-resolution spectro-polarimetric observations of the Sun in order to investigate the magnetic features in the solar atmosphere and their interaction with convective plasma flows.
The Solar Orbiter mission of ESA is planned to be launched in 2017 as part of the Cosmic Vision Program and to provide observational data of the Sun starting 2020. Solar Orbiter aims for investigating the solar atmosphere at various wavelenghts with high spatial and temporal resolution and providing in-situ measurements of the unexplored inner heliosphere.
GREGOR is a solar telescope operated since 2012 on Tenerife by a consortium of German institutes (KIS, AIP, MPS). With its aperture of 1.5m it is one of the largest solar telescopes worldwide. GREGOR allows observations of the solar photosphere and chromosphere in the visible and infrared range with an unprecedented quality and resolution.
Goal of the FSP development is a novel fast solar imaging polarimeter with emphasis on an increased polarimetric accuracy and high spatial resolution. The high frame rate of the newly developed detector allows to "freeze" the disturbances caused by turbulences in the Earth's atmosphere. This is the prerequisite to measure solar magnetic fields with unprecedented accuracy on small spatial scales.
With current solar instrumentation it is impossible to measure the spectra of all pixels over a two-dimensional field of view simultaneously. The new type of spectrograph developed within this project will overcome this limitation by replacing the spectrograph slit by a rotated microlens array.
The center fosters collaboration between scientific institutes in both Germany and the USA. By promoting collaboration between astrophysicists and fusion scientists generally, the center aims to accelerate discovery in fundamental areas of plasma physics.
SOLARNET is a European networking activity to develop and coordinate the use of infrastructure devoted to high-resolution solar physics. It involves all pertinent European research institutions, infrastructures, and data repositories. The project achievements will be of principal importance in defining the exploitation of the future 4-meter European Solar Telescope (EST).
SOLMAG is funded by an ERC Advanced Grant of Sami K. Solanki. The project will follow an integral approach for understanding the physics underlying the structure and dynamics of the solar magnetic field, combining new observational facilities, novel instruments, the next generation of inversion techniques for data analysis and state-of-the-art MHD simulations.
Overarching goal of ROMIC (Role Of the MIddle atmosphere in Climate) is the investigation of the role of the middle atmosphere in climate. For this important processes in the middle atmosphere will be analyzed in order to understand their relevance for climate. The impact of solar variability is one of the central topics and the focus of the subproject MUSIC (Modeling and Understanding Solar Irradiance Changes).
Solar-C is the next space mission to be proposed by the Japanese and international solar community to the Space Agency of Japan (JAXA). Solar-C aims at exploring the physics of the Sun, and confronts new challenges revealed by the currently operating solar space missions.