A Quarter Century of Wind Spacecraft Discoveries

Lynn B. Wilson*, Alexandra L. Brosius, Natchimuthuk Gopalswamy, Teresa Nieves‐Chinchilla, Adam Szabo, Kevin Hurley, Tai Phan, Justin C. Kasper, Noé Lugaz, Ian G. Richardson, Christopher H.K. Chen, Daniel Verscharen, Robert T. Wicks, Jason M. TenBarge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


The Wind spacecraft, launched on November 1, 1994, is a critical element in NASA’s Heliophysics System Observatory (HSO) – a fleet of spacecraft created to understand the dynamics of the sun‐Earth system. The combination of its longevity ( > 25 years in service), its diverse complement of instrumentation, and high resolution and accurate measurements has led to it becoming the “standard candle” of solar wind measurements. Wind has over 55 selectable public data products with over ∼1100 total data variables (including OMNI data products) on SPDF/CDAWeb alone. These data have led to paradigm shifting results in studies of statistical solar wind trends, magnetic reconnection, large‐scale solar wind structures, kinetic physics, electromagnetic turbulence, the Van Allen radiation belts, coronal mass ejection topology, interplanetary and interstellar dust, the lunar wake, solar radio bursts, solar energetic particles, and extreme astrophysical phenomena such as gamma‐ray bursts. This review introduces the mission and instrument suites then discusses examples of the contributions by Wind to these scientific topics that emphasize its importance to both the fields of heliophysics and astrophysics.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020RG000714
Number of pages70
JournalReviews of Geophysics
Issue number2
Early online date14 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


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