Subject line: Study of the Sun and the solar spots
Responsibility of the mission: NASA / JAXA
Date of launch: September 22nd, 2006.
End of mission: ongoing
The HINODE mission was developed through a joint venture between the JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) and the NASA and aims at studying the characteristics of the Sun and its motions. Launched on September 22nd, 2006, by the Uchinoura Space Centre of Kyushu, in Japan, the probe is working to provide a precious view of our star from an extremely close perspective and shed some light on the violent events involving its atmosphere, particularly on the solar spots giving birth to the extremely powerful blasting and solar storms. During its journey, it recorded the transit of Venus in front of its mother star, an annular eclipse, a portrait of the chromosphere, the comet Lovejoy and a solar explosion through the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT), the instrument aboard the probe.
The probe is equipped with three main instruments: the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT), an optical telescope capable of tracking the magnetic fields created by the solar spots, which accumulate energy for eruptions; the X-Ray Telescope, an X-Ray telescope which is able to observe the gas captured in the magnetic plug of solar spots; and finally the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS), a spectrometer for the extreme ultraviolet. The main goal of the three instruments is studying all the layers of the solar atmosphere.