Journal Highlights

Imaging the Sun’s Atmosphere

Editor’s Highlight—

The technique of heliospheric imaging could be valuable for future space weather operations.

Heliospheric imaging is a technique developed to look at the Sun’s extended atmosphere, rather than the Sun itself. The Sun’s tenuous atmosphere extends well beyond Earth’s orbit. The accompanying image shows a disturbance in Sun’s atmosphere out to a distance of 15 solar radii. Harrison et al. [2017] provide a timely assessment of the value of heliospheric imaging observations in the context of space weather operation with a clear aim of advocating for a deep-space mission for operational space weather prediction. The authors review a cross-section of the scientific analyses that have exploited heliospheric imagery – particularly from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories (STEREO) mission – and discuss their relevance to operational predictions of coronal mass ejection arrival at Earth and elsewhere. They assert that heliospheric imagery is central to any credible space weather mission, particularly one located at a vantage point off the Sun-Earth line. This paper will be a good reference both for scientific use and for justifying future missions.

-- Delores J. Knipp, Editor-in-Chief, Space Weather,