The First Focused Hard X-Ray Images of the Sun With NuSTAR

Brian W. Grefenstette, Lindsay Glesener, Sam Krucker, Hugh Hudson, Iain G. Hannah, David M. Smith, Julia K. Vogel, Stephen M. White, Kristin K. Madsen, Andrew J. Marsh, Amir Caspi, Bin Chen, Albert Shih, Matej Kuhar, Steven E. Boggs, Finn Erland Christensen, William W. Craig, Karl Forster, Charles J. Hailey, Fiona A. HarrisonHiromasa Miyasaka, Daniel Stern, William W. Zhang

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    We present results from the the first campaign of dedicated solar observations undertaken by the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ARray (NuSTAR) hard X-ray (HXR) telescope. Designed as an astrophysics mission, NuSTAR nonetheless has the capability of directly imaging the Sun at HXR energies (>3 keV) with an increase in sensitivity of at least two magnitude compared to current non-focusing telescopes. In this paper we describe the scientific areas where NuSTAR will make major improvements on existing solar measurements. We report on the techniques used to observe the Sun with NuSTAR, their limitations and complications, and the procedures developed to optimize solar data quality derived from our experience with the initial solar observations. These first observations are briefly described, including the measurement of the Fe K-shell lines in a decaying X-class flare, HXR emission from high in the solar corona, and full-disk HXR images of the Sun.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number20
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Acceleration of particles
    • Methods: data analysis
    • Sun: X-rays, gamma rays


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