Hinode (was Solar-B) was launched at 6:36 a.m. on September 23, 2006 (Japan Standard Time).
New XPOW: A Pretty Cool Flare
New XPOW: Beautiful Coronal Loop Expansion
New XPOW: Coronal Mass Ejection on April 4th, 2014
New XPOW: Current Sheet Structure on the Limb
New XPOW: Dark Spike Amid Flaring Loops
The XRT DVDs are Back in Stock!
We have received a new supply of Space Science Careers: Building Hinode XRT, A Space X-Ray Telescope. When students think of NASA, they're likely to imagine astronauts and engineers without appreciating the much wider spectrum of careers that make spaceflight possible. This DVD tells the stories of many people involved in the making of XRT, along with providing some information on the telescope and its science. It's a great resource for high school students, guidance counselors, or anyone looking to increase career awareness. Click here to request a (free) copy.
New XPOW: Emerging Active Regions
New XPOW: X1.3 Flare with Interesting Structure on April 25th, 2014
New XPOW: Beautiful Candle Flame Cusp on the Disk
Big News! XRT-CO Adam Kobelski (MSU) successfully defended his PhD thesis!
Adam successfully defended his thesis on April 29, 2014: "Empirical Studies on the Initiation of Impulsive Heating in Coronal Loops." He will be starting a postdoc job in May at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank. Congratulations from the Hinode / XRT Team, Dr. Kobelski!
New XPOW: Solar Eclipse of April 29th, 2014
New XPOW: Flares and Flowers
New XPOW: X-Flare & EUV Wave on March 29th, 2014
New XPOW: Coronal Rain Extinguishes Active Region
New XPOW: Lovely Eruption & M-Flare from November, 2011
Important Calibration Software Update
Significant improvements have been made to the XRT_PREP code, which includes several new features in addition to minor bug fixes. Users should ensure that their SSW IDL libraries are up-to-date.
The UNCERT_MAP keyword has been added to provide an array of photometric errors due to calibration uncertainties (e.g., uncertainty in the dark subtraction, Fourier filtering, vignetting correction, exposure time, etc.). For details, see Kobelski et al. 2014, Solar Physics, in press; arXiv:1312.4850. The error array provides a basal estimate of uncertainty in the XRT data. Note that photon noise errors are not included, as these depend on the detailed thermal structure of the target, since XRT is a broadband detector.
The DESPIKE_DESPOT keyword has also been introduced to provide a cosmetic correction for contamination spots and dust on the CCD (using the XRT_SPOTCOR subroutine), in addition to particle hits. The spot correction uses thin plate splines (in most cases) to smoothly interpolate between boundary pixels outside of the given spot/dust area. It is highly recommended that the user employ this in conjunction with the GRADE_MAP keyword, which generates a pixel grade map so that the location of spots and dust can be identified. Note that this correction is purely cosmetic; pixels affected by dust and/or spots should not be used for quantitative analysis. A new despiking code (XRT_DESPIKE2), which better avoids over-correcting the data, has also been introduced.
The dust on the CCD has been growing between CCD bakeouts and shrinking after bakeouts since May of 2012, suggesting that contamination is starting to adhere to the dust temporarily. The cosmetic correction code also adjusts (approximately) for the time-dependent dust size. A new catagory of pixel grade, dust growth pixels, has been added to the output of XRT_PIXEL_GRADE.
Usage notes can be found in the XRT_PREP program header (and the headers of related routines). Detailed information is also provided in an updated version of the XRT Analysis Guide.
New XPOW: Filament Eruption with Unusual Twisting Motions
See the XRT News page for older XRT news items.
The Hinode X-Ray Telescope (XRT) is a high-resolution grazing-incidence telescope, which is a successor to the highly successful Yohkoh Soft X-Ray Telescope (SXT). A primary purpose of the Hinode XRT is to observe the generation, transport, and emergence of solar magnetic fields, as well as the ultimate dissipation of magnetic energy in forms such as flares and pico-flares, coronal heating, and coronal mass ejections. The XRT aboard Hinode observes the dissipation part of the life-cycle story of solar magnetic fields. High-resolution soft X-ray images reveal magnetic field configuration and its evolution, allowing us to observe the energy buildup, storage and release process in the corona for any transient event. One of the unique features of XRT is its wide temperature coverage to see all the coronal features that are not seen with any normal incidence telescope.
The XRT consists of the X-ray and visible light optics, focal plane mechanisms (filters and shutter), and the 2k x 2k CCD camera. The Mission Data Processor (MDP) also plays a vital role for XRT.
The XRT was designed and developed by the Japan-US collaboration between Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), NASA MSFC, JAXA, and NAOJ. The XRT telescope was tested and calibrated at the XRCF at MSFC, and the CCD camera was tested and calibrated in X-rays at the ATC of the NAOJ with JAXA.
If XRT data is used in a published article or report, please give a proper Acknowledgement:
"Hinode is a Japanese mission developed and launched by ISAS/JAXA, with NAOJ as domestic partner and NASA and STFC (UK) as international partners. It is operated by these agencies in co-operation with ESA and the NSC (Norway)."
If an XRT image is displayed in a popular article, on a website, et cetera, then please acknowledge the contributing institutions:
"(SAO, NASA, JAXA, NAOJ)"
You may find a list of the XRT instrument papers and other important references that should be considered for inclusion in your XRT science paper HERE.