The Sun is the closest star to Earth, and the single most important influence on the worlds of the Solar System in terms of the light and particles it emits. Studying the Sun, in other words, helps us understand the habitability of Earth, but also other stars elsewhere in the universe. One important solar observatory is the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hinode spacecraft, which carries three powerful instruments to study the Sun in X-rays, visible light, and ultraviolet light. Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian engineers collaborated in the development of the X-ray Telescope for the spacecraft. Hinode has been observing the Sun continuously since its launch in 2006, providing important day-by-day information about our host star’s activity.
Visit the Hinode/XRT Website