Hinode (Solar-B) in a nutshell

Searching for the triggers of violent solar activity

Name Solar-B was renamed Hinode (meaning 'sunrise') after launch, according to Japanese tradition. The previous Japanese Solar-A mission was renamed Yohkoh after launch (1991).

Description With its three advanced scientific instruments, Hinode will explore the magnetic field of the Sun in greater detail than ever before, to better understand the mechanisms that power the solar atmosphere and trigger solar eruptions.

Status Launched 23 September 2006 (M-V-7 rocket launcher, JAXA's Uchinoura Space Centre in the Kagoshima district, Japan).

Journey Hinode was placed on a 96-minute sun-synchronous polar orbit around Earth, allowing continuous observations of the Sun for more than 9 months a year for the planned three-year mission lifetime.

Notes With its three advanced telescopes working at visible, X-ray and ultraviolet wavelengths, Hinode is studying the generation, transport, and dissipation of magnetic energy from the photosphere to the corona and will record how energy stored in the Sun's magnetic field is released as the field rises into the Sun's outer atmosphere.

Hinode is a mission led by the Japanese Space Exploration Agency (JAXA), with participation of the United States (NASA), the United Kingdom (PPARC), and a joint contribution from ESA and Norway. The latter joined the mission in 2005 by agreeing to provide continuous ground coverage through the SvalSat ground station situated on the Norwegian Svalbard islands.

Last update: 20 March 2007

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