What Is International Heliophysical Year 2007?

International Heliophysical Year 2007

The UN established the International Heliophysical Year. In 2007, it celebrated the 50th anniversary of the program. It still holds up as one of the world’s most successful scientific collaborations in history. The program was designed as a broad effort to further develop geophysics. It resulted in progress in:

  • Sun-Earth connections;
  • heliosphere research;
  • planetary physics;
  • space physics.

Many scientific institutes participated in the international program. They worked together to understand the universal processes in solar-terrestrial-planetary-heliospheric physics better. The team also researched the external drivers of planetary environments. Another aspect concerned the interaction of the heliosphere and the interstellar medium.

Additionally, the program broadened the meaning of geophysics. Now it includes the connections between the Earth, the Sun, and the space between planets. The United Nations provided significant support for the International Heliophysical Year. The program concluded in February of 2009. Most of its research was later continued by the International Space Weather Initiative.

The Primary Objectives of the International Heliophysical Year

The IHY conducted a wide range of activities around the world. Some of them were part of an international program dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year (IGY).

The research laid the foundation for the next 50 years of geophysical research according to three main objectives. These three main objectives are often used as a base for school papers, so you might have heard about them before. And if you are researching these themes because of a school task, you can just ask our expert to write my essay.

The research laid the foundation for the next 50 years of geophysical research according to three main objectives.

  1. The first one was to better understand the processes of the heliosphere, the Earth, and the Sun. It focused on activities conducted by a global scientific community. Its members came from all corners of the global research community.
  2. The second objective concerned the continuing tradition of international research. It also aimed to advance the legacy and preserve the history of IGY in cooperation with similar programs.
  3. According to the third objective, the IHY wanted to appreciate Earth and space science’s beauty, significance, and relevance. This way, participants reminded the public about the great educational opportunities.

The Main Goals of IHY

The International Heliophysical Year 2007 seized the chance to fulfill its purpose and achieve six goals. Look how ambitious they were:

  • use cross-disciplinary research of universal processes to create the basics for heliophysics;
  • find out how external drivers influence planetary and terrestrial atmospheres and magnetospheres;
  • promote studies of the Sun’s heliosphere and the local interstellar medium;
  • advocate for a future study of heliophysics phenomena through robust scientific cooperation;
  • maintain the legacy and history on the 50th anniversary of IGY;
  • share IHY results with the general public and scientific community.

Thus, IHY integrated various activities, worked internationally, and involved the brightest scientific minds in achieving its goals. In the same way, “write essay for me” platform professionals cooperate on projects. When experts gather to work on the same task and are equally passionate about it, joint efforts bring outstanding results.

International Heliophysical Year’s Activities

What do people usually do during the Heliophysical Year?


The Coordinated Investigation Programs encompassed all disciplines that studied heliophysics. The IHY 2007 research was analyzed and observed by the United Nations scientists.

Due to the CIPs, now we know more about universal forces that shape planets and the heliosphere. The program released its IT’s Science Pages to give users exhaustive information on scientific research.

Observatory Development

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The United Nations Basic Space Science Initiative was established in 2009. The International Heliophysical Year took inspiration from the 50 years of workshops. They covered basic space science for engineers and scientists from developing countries.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs helped experts to take part in IHY 2007. And the developing nations’ programs increased the work of space and earth research institutions.

This included the creation of research programs and ground-based instrument arrays. It also led to annual workshops in various locations, such as the 2005 Workshop in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.


Another important aspect of IHY is its preservation of IGY 1957 history and legacy. The IGY Gold History Program celebrated its 50th anniversary to recognize the people who worked on it. It preserved articles, photographs, memoirs, and other significant items associated with it.

These objects are available to researchers, historians, and the general public. It was also used to spread knowledge on the history of geophysics: one of the plans involved having many commemorative events.


The International Heliophysical Year 2007 gave opportunities for improving science education. Their education program was the foundation of an international initiative. 

Hundreds of institutions and observatories were preparing for IHY’s activities. Thus, the excitement caused by the initiative resulted in a network of institutes, schools, and programs. Many participants can’t but admit it was a game-changer for developing countries. Indeed, IHY 2007 facilitated educational opportunities in the field.

Discovery of 2007 OR10 Within International Heliophysical Year

One of the greates events of IHY 2007 was the discovery of 225088 Gonggong (also known by 2007 Or10 name). On July 17, 2007, 2007 OR10 was found as a result of the Palomar Distant Solar System Survey, which was exploring  far-off asteroids in the Kuiper belt and beyond. Moving Solar System bodies were found by taking one photograph one night, going back to take another 1-2 hours later, then returning the following night with another set of images with a 1-2 hour gap between the frames.

On January 7, 2009, Gonggong was publicly introduced in a Minor Planet Electronic Circular. It was then given the provisional designation 2007 OR10 because it was discovered during the second half of July 2007. The last letter and numbers of its designation indicate that it is the 267th object discovered during the latter half of July.

2007 OR10 Naming Difficulties

225088 Gonggong was the largest known unidentified object in the Solar System prior to its formal identification. Brown first did not consider naming it as he regarded it to be an unremarkable object, despite its large size. He changed his mind after finding water, ice, and the potential for methane on its surface, which made it noteworthy enough to warrant further study. Initially, after the discovery of Gonggong, Brown nicknamed the object "Snow White." 2019 saw the launch of an online poll from the Gonggong's discoverers asking the public to select one of three names: Gonggong (Chinese), Holle (German), or Vili (Norse).

According to the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) minor planet naming standards, which stipulates that objects must be given names relating to mythical figures connected with creation, the discoverers chose these three options. The privilege of naming the Gonggong planet was reserved for its discoverers.


The International Heliophysical Year opened new frontiers in heliophysics. The program helped form the research for at least half a century through the cooperation of scientists and institutions from across the world.

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