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The Firefly Mission: A Holistic View of the Sun and its Environment

Presentation #111.06 in the session Mini-Filaments, Jets, Microflares, and the Heliosphere.

Published onSep 18, 2023
The Firefly Mission: A Holistic View of the Sun and its Environment

Firefly is an innovative mission concept study for the Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) 2024-2033 to fill long-standing knowledge gaps in Heliophysics. A constellation of spacecraft will provide both remote sensing and in situ observations of the Sun and heliosphere from a whole 4π-steradian field of view. The concept implements a holistic observational philosophy that extends from the Sun’s interior, to the photosphere, through the corona, and into the solar wind simultaneously with multiple spacecraft at multiple vantage points optimized for continual global coverage over much of a solar cycle. The mission constellation includes two spacecraft in the ecliptic and two flying as high as ~70° solar latitude. The ecliptic spacecraft will orbit the Sun at fixed angular distances of ±120° from the Earth. Firefly will provide new insights into the fundamental processes that shape the whole heliosphere. The overarching goals of the Firefly concept are to understand the global structure and dynamics of the Sun’s interior, the generation of solar magnetic fields, the origin of the solar cycle, the causes of solar activity, and the structure and dynamics of the corona as it creates the heliosphere. We will provide an overview of the Firefly mission science and architecture and how it will revolutionize our understanding of long-standing heliospheric phenomena such as the solar dynamo, solar cycle, magnetic fields, solar activity, space weather, the solar wind, and energetic particles.

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