Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The Solar Optical Telescope for the Hinode Mission: An Overview


The Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) aboard the Hinode satellite (formerly called Solar-B) consists of the Optical Telescope Assembly (OTA) and the Focal Plane Package (FPP). The OTA is a 50-cm diffraction-limited Gregorian telescope, and the FPP includes the narrowband filtergraph (NFI) and the broadband filtergraph (BFI), plus the Stokes Spectro-Polarimeter (SP). The SOT provides unprecedented high-resolution photometric and vector magnetic images of the photosphere and chromosphere with a very stable point spread function and is equipped with an image-stabilization system with performance better than 0.01 arcsec rms. Together with the other two instruments on Hinode (the X-Ray Telescope (XRT) and the EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS)), the SOT is poised to address many fundamental questions about solar magnetohydrodynamics. This paper provides an overview; the details of the instrument are presented in a series of companion papers.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Abbett, W.P.: 2006, Astrophys. J. 665, 1469.

  2. Bello Gonzalez, N., Okunev, O.V., Domínguez Cerdeña, I., Kneer, F., Puschmann, K.G.: 2005, Astron. Astrophys. 434, 317.

  3. Berger, T.E., Rouppe van der Voort, L.H.M., Löfdahl, M.G., Carlsson, M., Fossum, A., Hansteen, V.H., Marthinussen, E., Title, A., Scharmer, G.: 2004, Astron. Astrophys. 428, 613.

  4. Carlsson, M., Stein, R.F.: 2004, In: Sakurai, T., Sekii, T. (eds.) The Solar-B Mission and the Forefront of Solar Physics, ASP Conf. Ser. 325, 243.

  5. Cattaneo, F.: 1999, Astrophys. J. 515, 39.

  6. Cheung, M.C., Schüssler, M., Moreno Insertis, F.: 2007, Astron. Astrophys. 467, 703.

  7. Culhane, J.L., Harra, L.K., James, A.M., Al-Janabi, K., Bradley, L.J., Chaudry, R.A., et al.: 2007, Solar Phys. 243, 19.

  8. De Pontieu, B.: 2004, Nature 430, 536.

  9. Ferriz-Mas, A., Steiner, O.: 2008, Solar Phys. in press.

  10. Fisher, G.H., Fan, Y., Longcope, D.W., Linton, M.G., Pevtsov, A.A.: 2000, Solar Phys. 192, 119.

  11. Gudiksen, B.V., Nordlund, A.: 2005, Astrophys. J. 618, 1020.

  12. Golub, L., DeLuca, E., Austin, G., Bookbinder, J., Caldwell, D., Cheimets, P., et al.: 2007, Solar Phys. 243, 63.

  13. Handy, B.N., Acton, L.W., Kankelborg, C.C., Wolfson, C.J., Akin, D.J., Bruner, M.E., et al.: 1999, Solar Phys. 187, 229.

  14. Hansteen, V.H., De Pontieu, B., Rouppe van der Voort, L., van Noort, M., Carlsson, M.: 2006, Astrophys. J. 647, L73.

  15. Harvey-Angle, K.L.: 1993, Magnetic bipoles on the Sun. Ph.D. Thesis, Utrecht University.

  16. Ichimoto, K., Lites, B., Elmore, D., Suematsu, Y., Tsunete, S., Katsukawa, Y., et al.: 2008, Solar Phys., in press.

  17. Kano, R., Sakao, T., Hara, H., Tsuneta, S., Matsuzaki, K., Kumagai, K., et al.: 2007, Solar Phys., in press.

  18. Katsukawa, Y., Tsuneta, S.: 2005, Astrophys. J. 621, 498.

  19. Khomenko, E.V., Shelyag, S., Solanki, S.K., Vögler, A.: 2005, Astron. Astrophys. 442, 1059.

  20. Kosovichev, A.: 2004, In: Sakurai, T., Sekii, T. (eds.) The Solar-B Mission and the Forefront of Solar Physics, ASP Conf. Ser. 325, 75.

  21. Kosugi, T., Matsuzaki, K., Sakao, T., Shimizu, T., Sone, Y., Tachikawa, S., et al.: 2007, Solar Phys. 243, 3.

  22. Leighton, R.B.: 1964, Astrophys. J. 140, 1547.

  23. Leka, K.D., Metcalf, T.R.: 2003, Solar Phys. 212, 361.

  24. Lites, B.W.: 1996, Solar Phys. 163, 223.

  25. Lites, B.W., Leka, K.D., Skumanich, A., Martinez Pillet, V., Shimizu, T.: 1996, Astrophys. J. 460, 1019.

  26. Metcalf, T.R., Jiao, L., McClymont, A.N., Canfield, R.C., Uitenbroek, H.: 1995, Astrophys. J. 439, 474.

  27. Parker, E.N.: 1978, Astrophys. J. 221, 368.

  28. Parker, E.N.: 1988, Astrophys. J. 330, 474.

  29. Sekii, T.: 2004, In: Sakurai, T., Sekii, T. (eds.) The Solar-B Mission and the Forefront of Solar Physics, ASP Conf. Ser. 325, 87.

  30. Shimizu, T., Nagata, S., Tsuneta, S., Tarbell, T., Edwards, C., Shine, R., et al.: 2008, Solar Phys., in press.

  31. Scharmer, G.B., Gudiksen, B.V., Kiselman, D., Löfdahl, M.G., Rouppe van der Voort, L.H.M.: 2002, Nature 420, 151.

  32. Skartlien, R., Stein, R.F., Nordlund, A.: 2000, Astrophys. J. 541, 468.

  33. Solanki, S.K.: 2003, Astron. Astrophys. Rev. 11, 153.

  34. Solanki, S.K., Inhester, B., Schüssler, M.: 2006, Pep. Prog. Phys. 69, 563.

  35. Sterling, A.C.: 2000, Solar Phys. 196, 79.

  36. Suematsu, Y., Tsuneta, S., Ichimoto, K., Shimizu, T., Otsubo, M., Katsukawa, Y., et al.: 2008, Solar Phys., in press.

  37. Tarbell, T.D., et al.: 2008, Solar Phys., to be submitted.

  38. Title, A.M.: 2007, In: Shibata, K., Nagara, S., Sakurai, T. (eds.) New Solar Physics with Solar-B Mission, ASP Conf. Ser. 369, 409.

  39. Tsuneta, S.: 1996, In: Bentley, R.D., Mariska, J.T. (eds.) Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Atmosphere, ASP Conf. Ser. 111, 409.

  40. Ulmschneider, P., Musielak, Z.: 2003, In: Pevtsov, A.A., Uitenbroek, H. (eds.) Current Theoretical Models and Future High Resolution Solar Observations: Preparing ATST, ASP Conf. Ser. 286, 363.

  41. Ulrich, R.K.: 1996, Astrophys. J. 465, 436.

  42. Walsh, R.W., Ireland, J.: 2003, Astron. Astrophys. Rev. 12, 1.

  43. Welsch, B.T., Abbett, W.P., DeRosa, M.L., Fisher, G.H., Georgoulis, M.K., Kusano, K., Longcope, D.W., Ravindra, B., Schuck, P.W.: 2007, Astrophys. J., submitted.

  44. Weiss, N.O.: 2006, Space Sci. Rev. 124, 13.

  45. Withbroe, G.L., Noyes, R.W.: 1977, Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 15, 363.

  46. Yoshida, T., Tsuneta, S.: 1996, Astrophys. J. 459, 342.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to S. Tsuneta.

Additional information

M. Otsubo is a former NAOJ staff scientist.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tsuneta, S., Ichimoto, K., Katsukawa, Y. et al. The Solar Optical Telescope for the Hinode Mission: An Overview. Sol Phys 249, 167–196 (2008).

Download citation


  • Solar-B
  • Hinode
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • Sun: photosphere
  • Sun: chromosphere
  • Sun: MHD