<i>Hinode (Solar-B)</i> spacecraft

Hinode (Solar-B) spacecraft

Courtesy of NASA


Hinode began as a 3-year international mission with Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom to study our star, the Sun.It has gone beyond the initial timeframe and continues to observe the Sun using three advanced solar telescopes: (1) solar optical to observe solar magnetic fields, (2) X-ray telescope, and (3) extreme ultraviolet imaging spectrometer. In Japanese, Hinodemeans “sunrise.”

September 22, 2006

(sun orbit) November, 2006

End of Mission
Continuing as of 2012

Understand why and how the Sun’s magnetic field varies and how this affects total solar output and solar weather.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Why does a hot corona exist above the cool atmosphere? What drives explosive events such as solar flares?
  2. What creates the Sun's magnetic fields?

Collected data is posted online. Scientific team meets yearly to discuss results.