Latest Hinode Stories

2007-12-06 16:11:56

Cambridge, MA - The Sun is minimally active right now, but this quiet state of affairs won't last for long. Over the next few years, the number of solar flares and eruptions known as coronal mass ejections will increase until reaching solar maximum in 2011 or 2012.  Such eruptions can impact Earth, disrupting satellites, communications, and even power grids. Some predict the next solar cycle will be the most intense in 50 years. As a result, scientists are striving to understand the...

2007-09-20 12:55:00

"We've never seen anything quite like it," says solar physicist Lika Guhathakurta from NASA headquarters. Last week she sat in an audience of nearly two hundred colleagues at the "Living with a Star" workshop in Boulder, Colorado, and watched in amazement as Saku Tsuneta of Japan played a movie of sunspot 10926 breaking through the turbulent surface of the sun. Before their very eyes an object as big as a planet materialized, and no one was prepared for the form it took. "It looks like a...

2007-08-22 12:40:00

A year after launch, scientists working with Hinode, a Japanese mission with ESA participation, are meeting at Trinity College, Dublin, to discuss latest findings on solar mysteries - including new insights on solar flares and coronal heating. Highlights include new insights on the workings of solar flares and on the mechanism behind coronal heating. Hinode (Sunrise in Japanese) was launched to study magnetic fields on the Sun and their role in powering the solar atmosphere and driving solar...

2007-04-25 07:42:59

Astronomers are calling the Japanese Hinode spacecraft a "Hubble for the sun." Watch this movie and you'll see why. The footage, gathered by Hinode's Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) on Dec. 13, 2006, shows sunspot 930 unleashing a powerful X-class solar flare. It's one of the most detailed movies of a flare solar physicists have ever seen. The SOT has a resolution of 0.2 arcseconds or 0.00006 degrees. Putting those numbers into perspective, the telescope can see features on the sun as small as...

2007-04-19 17:00:06

Astronomers have found that the atmosphere of the Sun plays a kind of heavenly music. The magnetic field in the outer regions (the corona) of our nearest star forms loops that carry waves and behave rather like a musical instrument. In a talk on Thursday 19 April at the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting in Preston, Dr Youra Taroyan and Professor Robert von Fay-Siebenburgen of the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC), University of Sheffield will explain...

2007-04-16 17:00:50

The Sun's outer atmosphere or corona is incredibly complex, as shown in observations from space. It is also extremely hot, with a temperature of over a million degrees by comparison with that of the Sun's surface of only 6000 degrees. Scientists have now made a major breakthrough in understanding this complexity by studying the 'skeleton' of the magnetic field. A team of scientists from St Andrew's University will present the results on Monday 16 April at the Royal Astronomical Society...

2007-03-21 12:15:00

Cambridge, MA -- Even though the sun is the closest star to Earth and has been studied for hundreds of years, it still holds surprises. The recently launched Hinode spacecraft is one of the latest observatories to probe the sun from afar. One of three instruments on board Hinode is the X-Ray Telescope (XRT), which was developed and built by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Already, stunning X-ray views from the XRT are surprising...

2006-12-23 10:40:45

WASHINGTON - Instruments aboard a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency satellite named Hinode, or "Sunrise," are returning extraordinary new images of our sun. The international mission to study the forces that drive the violent, explosive power of the sun launched from Japan in September. Hinode is circling Earth in a polar flight path (a "sun-synchronous" orbit) that allows the spacecraft's instruments to remain in continuous sunlight for nine months each year. An international team of...

2006-11-03 14:45:00

The Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) onboard Japan's Hinode spacecraft has opened its doors and started snapping pictures. Shown below is a "first light" image taken Oct. 23rd. The light and dark blobs are solar granules, masses of hot gas that rise and fall like water boiling atop a hot stove. Each granule is about the size of a terrestrial continent. SOT has no trouble seeing such detail from Earth-orbit 93 million miles away. "We have confirmed that SOT is achieving a very high angular...

2006-10-31 12:20:00

Cambridge, MA - Just in time for Halloween, astronomers have taken a haunting new portrait of the sun. In this color-coded image from the Hinode spacecraft, the sun glows eerily orange as though celebrating with earthly spooks. The photograph shows the sun's corona - the top layer of the sun's atmosphere, a region of extremely rarefied gases heated to millions of degrees. During the current, quiet phase of solar activity (sunspot minimum), the corona is dominated by small regions of closed...

Word of the Day
  • A style of popular dance music originating along the border between Texas and Mexico, characterized by the use of accordion, drums, and 12-string bass guitar and traditionally based on polka, waltz, and bolero rhythms.
The word 'conjunto' comes through Spanish, from Latin coniūnctus, past participle of coniungere, to join together; see conjoin