|XRT Mission Ops
Here is another stunning image representing the Solar Cycle 24 observed by Hinode XRT. You may notice this looks a lot like the image of Solar Cycle 22 to 23 created with the previous Solar X-ray mission, Yohkoh SXT.
According to H. Tonooka, who created this image at ISAS/JAXA, the image is made of XRT composite images from 2007 to 2017. The farthest (smallest) image is from 2007 and each image increments clockwise by one year. The nearest (largest) image is from 2013, around solar maximum. Because XRT has a smaller field of view than SXT, the XRT full-sun images do not show the extended corona very well unless planning a special observation. In this image, the structures of the extended corona were artificially added by a graphic designer.
Assuming the Sun follows the trend of usual activity cycle, in 2018
Hinode will observe the Sun becoming quieter and showing less number
of active regions until the new cycle starts sometime around 2019.
That way Hinode is going to observe the 2nd solar minimum and the
start of a new solar cycle since its launch in September, 2006.