Possible advantages of a twin spacecraft Heliospheric mission at the Sun-Earth Lagrangian points L4 and L5

After the launch of STEREO twin spacecraft, and most recently of Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe spacecraft, the next mission that will explore Sun-Earth interactions and how the Sun modulates the Heliosphere will be the "Lagrange" mission, which will consist of two satellites placed in orbit around L1 and L5 Sun-Earth Lagrangian points. Despite the significant novelties that will be provided by such a double vantage point, there will be also missing information, that are briefly discussed here. For future heliospheric missions, an alternative advantageous approach that has not been considered so far would be to place two twin spacecraft not in L1 and L5, but in L4 and L5 Lagrangian points. If these two spacecraft will be equipped with in situ instruments, and also remote sensing instruments measuring not only photospheric but also coronal magnetic fields, significant advancing will be possible. In particular, data provided by such a twin mission will allow to follow the evolution of magnetic fields from inside the sun (with stereoscopic helioseismology), to its surface (with classical photospheric magnetometers), and its atmosphere (with spectro-polarimeters); this will provide a tremendous improvement in our physical understanding of solar activity. Moreover, the L4-L5 twin satellites will take different interesting configurations, such as relative quadrature, and quasi-quadrature with the Earth, providing a baseline for monitoring the Sun-to-Earth propagation of solar disturbances.
Year of Publication
Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
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