The Hinode Mission

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X-ray jets are very important to solar physicists. Although these are small events on a solar scale, they still generate huge amounts of energy, heating solar plasma to over 2 million Kelvin, create spurts of X-ray emitting plasma jets and generate waves. This is all very interesting, but why are jets so important? The solar atmosphere or corona is hot. In fact, very hot.

Actually, it is too hot. Traditional thinking would suggest that this is wrong; all sorts of physical laws would be violated. The Sun is different. But now, with advanced optics used by Hinode, many small-scale events appear to be common… bringing us back to our X-ray jets….


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Previously, only the largest X-ray jets have been observed, putting this phenomenon at the bottom of the priority list. They appear at all latitudes, within coronal holes, inside sunspot groups, out in the middle of nowhere—in short, wherever we look on the sun we find these jets. So, this little solar probe has very quickly changed our views on solar physics. Launched on September 23, , by a consortium of countries including Japan, USA and Europe, Hinode has already revolutionized our thinking about how the Sun works.

Jets are now confirmed as common events that occur all over the Sun. But what I do know is, the sight of solar jets flashing to life in these movies is awesome, especially as you see the jet launch into space from the original flash. Even the Sun is getting festive. No, comets are formed outside of the solar system in the Oort Cloud.

The source of planets is the slow accumulation of rocks and dust clouds around the Sun over millions or billions of years.. The X-rays observed low in the solar atmosphere are created by complex magnetic interactions creating explosions thus creating the X-ray jet. The only thing this produces is a hot injection of gas into space generating X-rays.

e2v image sensors on board JAXA’s Hinode satellite capture an image of a solar eclipse

Comets or planets cannot be created by such an event actually it is so close to the Sun that the planet would burn up and the comet would melt very quickly! The flight models were integrated again in July for the final performance test after fixing problems. The performance tests were completed in July , and the spacecraft was transported to the launch site in August The Solar-B spacecraft is three-axis stabilized and pointed toward the sun. The spacecraft bus has a size of 2.

Attitude is being sensed by IRU Inertial Reference Unit and by gyros with a combination of two types sun sensors and a star tracker providing absolute calibration. The two type CCD sun sensors provide highly accurate and stable sun angle to the attitude control system.

NSAS is providing a pointing accuracy of 0. UFSS has very high accuracy of a few arcseconds and the resolution of 0. Solar-B is a sun-pointing spacecraft.

The pointing stability is in the order of 0. Total electric power of 1 kW EOL is provided by two solar arrays total length of 10 m. An onboard solid-state recorder has a capacity of 8 Gbit. The spacecraft launch mass is about kg about kg of dry mass with about kg of thruster gas for orbit maintenance. The nominal mission life is three years design life of 2 years min. Sun-pointing,stability of 0. Table 1: Overview of spacecraft parameters.

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Launch: The Solar-B spacecraft was launched on Sept. Mission status:. The results of the study were published in The Astrophysical Journal. Apart from solid, liquid and gaseous states, there is also "plasma," which means an accumulation of atoms that have lost shell electrons through collisions or high-energy radiation and thus become ions.

These ions are subject to magnetic forces that do not affect electrically neutral atoms. If there are not too many collisions in the plasma, both particle types can flow independently of each other.

Solar-B / Hinode - Satellite Missions - eoPortal Directory

The researchers have now succeeded in observing the physics phenomena in just such a "partially ionized plasma without impact equilibrium" in gas streams of the Sun. The result: in clouds above the edge of the Sun, also known as prominences, ions of the element strontium move 22 per cent faster than sodium atoms. This could be caused by an increased particle density, which increases the probability of impact. This keeps the prominence in suspension despite the attraction of the Sun. Movements in deeper layers of the sun cause the magnetic lines of force to fluctuate.

The ions immediately follow the reversal of the direction of oscillation, while the neutral atoms have to repeatedly reorient themselves with the ions. Note: Every two years, all missions whose approved operations end within the following four years are subject to review by the advisory structure of the Science Directorate. Extensions are granted to missions that satisfy the established criteria for operational status and science return, subject to the level of financial resources available in the science program.

These extensions are valid for the following four years, subject to a mid-term review and confirmation after two years. Cluster, for example, is the only mission that, by varying the separation between its four spacecraft, allows multipoint measurements of the magnetosphere in different regions and at different scales, while Gaia is performing the most precise astrometric survey ever realized, enabling unprecedented studies of the distribution and motions of stars in the Milky Way and beyond.

Table 2: Extended life for ESA's science missions Analyzing data for 5 days around the appearance of this record breaking magnetic field, the astronomers determined that it was generated as a result of gas outflow from one sunspot pushing against another sunspot. Sunspots are areas of concentrated magnetic fields. A sunspot usually consists of a circular dark core the umbra with a vertical magnetic field and radially-elongated fine threads the penumbra with a horizontal field.

The penumbra harbors an outward flow of gas along the horizontal threads. The darkness of the umbrae is generally correlated with the magnetic field strength. Hence, the strongest magnetic field in each sunspot is located in the umbra in most cases.

Hinode mission

Surprisingly the data indicated a magnetic field strength of 6, gauss. This is more than double the 3, gauss field found around most sunspots. Previously, magnetic fields this strong on the Sun had only been inferred indirectly. More surprisingly, the strongest field was not in the dark part of the umbra, as would be expected, but was actually located at a bright region between two umbrae.

This is impossible for ground-based telescopes because Earth's rotation causes the Sun to set and night to fall on the observatories.

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These continuous data showed that the strong field was always located at the boundary between the bright region and the umbra, and that the horizontal gas flows along the direction of the magnetic fields over the bright region turned down into the Sun when they reached the strong-field area. This indicates that the bright region with the strong field is a penumbra belonging to the southern umbra S-pole. The horizontal gas flows from the southern umbra compressed the fields near the other umbra N-pole and enhanced the field strength to more than 6, gauss. Finally, the longtime mystery of the formation mechanism of a stronger field outside an umbra than in the umbra, has been solved.

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Figure 5: Snapshot of a sunspot observed by the Hinode spacecraft. Top: Visible light continuum image. Bottom: Magnetic field strength map. The color shows the field strength, from weak cool colors to strong warm colors. Shin-nosuke Ishikawa Project research fellow of JAXA succeeded in detecting the subtle signs of nanoflares tiny flares in a region of the solar corona where no discernible flare activity was taking place.

The frequent occurrence of nanoflares has been regarded as a promising agent for maintaining the solar corona at a high temperature of several million Kelvin. The result from the research group is expected to put strong constraints to theories accounting for the coronal heating.

Why the corona is so hot a few million Kelvin above the cooler surface of the Sun 5, Kelvin , and how the corona is heated up to that temperature still remain unanswered. The apparent controversy of the higher temperature at a location in the solar atmosphere farther from the heat source has been known as the coronal heating problem.

The problem has been a decades-long mystery in the field of solar physics. One of them assumes heating by the frequent occurrence of very tiny flares, nanoflares.

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