Staring At The Sun
November 2, 2006 10:28 PM   Subscribe

The Solar Optical Telescope (SOT), an advanced telescope onboard the Hinode satellite, was launched into space by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency on September 22, 2006. On October 23, the SOT opened its protective doors and began taking pictures
posted by Drunken_munky (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Also in the last link are pictures taken by the XRT, another instrument onboard Hinode.
posted by Drunken_munky at 10:29 PM on November 2, 2006

Ooh, pretty.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:59 PM on November 2, 2006

OMG the sun is weird.
posted by casconed at 11:07 PM on November 2, 2006

Awesome. I highly recommend the Quicktime movie on this page which shows Hinode's solar synchronous orbit.
posted by vacapinta at 11:36 PM on November 2, 2006

I love the name "hinode"; it means "sunrise."

Great post.
posted by armage at 4:33 AM on November 3, 2006

That's a neat video that vacapinta mentioned, but I was wondering why the shadown on the earth doesn't move... is it because they didn't bother rendering this, or because the orbit is fast enough for it not to be noticeable. I guess what I really want to know is does the satalite manage to have a polar orbit that always stays in the sunlight or does it still cut through day/night or does it constantly sit on the edge of day/night?
posted by furtive at 5:01 AM on November 3, 2006

Can anyone find high res pics from hinode. I want new wallpaper.
posted by subtle_squid at 8:14 AM on November 3, 2006

Pretty amazing resolutions, etc, and the genre buffs are sure to get a kick out of it, but Nasa's SOHO is still the common man's source of solar flare porn.
posted by kickback at 8:29 AM on November 3, 2006

kickback: SOHO has been a valuable instrument, but you should try TRACE, which is responsible for most of the real solar flare porn.

subtle_squid: It will be a while before high-res data go public. Real science operations are just starting now, and there's a delay before images get released so the science team can work with the data first.

By the way, in case it's not clear just how much of a leap forward these images represent, you can compare these XRT images to the GOES SXI images, which were, along with similar-quality Yohkoh images, the best available before Hinode launched. And that's just the easy-to-see comparison; there's quite a bit of new data-taking ability available that's still behind the scenes.

Disclaimer: My meager grad student salary is paid by XRT.
posted by dseaton at 10:44 AM on November 3, 2006

nice. veery nice.
posted by kickback at 11:55 AM on November 3, 2006

wow that is a leap.

while I understand the delay the blown up insets make me want to see the whole sun at that resolution so bad I can't stand it.
posted by subtle_squid at 7:54 PM on November 3, 2006

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