A photo of the SWICS instrument
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of the University of Maryland Space Physics Group
SWICS Instrument Page
One main goal of the Ulysses mission
is to test the solar wind.
Scientists are really interested in the wind coming from the north and south poles of the Sun. Solar wind is made up of particles that come flying away from the Sun.
Scientists are using the SWICS instrument to measure the temperature and speed of the solar wind. SWICS stands for Solar Wind Ion Composition instrument.
One interesting fact about the SWICS instrument is that it measures solar wind ions of speeds ranging from 175 km/s to 1280 km/s. Compare these to the speed of Ulysses, the fastest space probe which is travelling at 11.3 km/s!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is really neat! It was first launched in 1990, but scientists started building it in the 1970's! We have found all kinds of objects like stars, nebulae and galaxies. The...more
Apollo 11 was the first mission that landed a person on the moon. On July 16, 1969, the U. S. rocket Saturn 5 was launched carrying the lunar landing module Eagle. The Eagle was released and it reached...more
Apollo 12 was launched on Nov. 14, 1969 and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended to its surface, while Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit aboard the...more
Apollo 15 marked the start of a new series of missions from the Apollo space program, each capable of exploring more lunar terrain than ever before. Launched on July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 reached the Moon...more
NASA chose Deep Impact to be part of a special series called the Discovery Program. This program is for cheap, scientific projects. In May 2001, NASA said it was ok to start with mission development for...more
Galileo was a spacecraft that orbited Jupiter for eight years. It made many discoveries about Jupiter and its moons. Galileo was launched in 1989, and reached Jupiter in 1995. The spacecraft had two parts....more
During 1966 through 1967, five Lunar Orbiter spacecrafts were launched, with the purpose of mapping the Moon's surface in preparation for the Apollo and Surveyor landings. All five missions were successful,...more