EZIE & EUVST: Two Heliophysics Missions

The US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has approved two heliophysics missions. Heliophysics is the science of understanding the Sun and its interactions with Earth and the solar system, including space weather.

Of the two missions, NASA will lead the Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer or EZIE mission, while it would contribute to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)-led Extreme Ultraviolet High-Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope Epsilon Mission (EUVST) mission.

NASA’s EZIE Mission

  • The EZIE mission will study the atmosphere of the Earth and the electric currents in it, which link the aurora to the magnetosphere. The magnetosphere is a complex space weather system that responds to several factors, including solar activity. The levels of geomagnetic activity are commonly measured by the Auroral Electrojet (AE) index, even as scientists do not currently understand the details regarding the currents’ structure.
  • NASA has slated the mission for launch in June 2024.

JAXA’s Solar-C EUVST Mission

  • A solar telescope, the EUVST would be studying the solar wind released by the solar atmosphere, as well as studying how this atmosphere drives solar material eruption. Studying them is important because they impact the space radiation environment throughout the solar system.
  • The mission is aimed to be launched in 2026.