X-Ray Telescope (XRT) Aboard Hinode: Key Instrumental Features and Scientific Highlights

  • Taro Sakao
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 449)


The X-ray Telescope (XRT) aboard Hinode was designed to observe the solar corona in its entire temperature range, spanning from below 1 million Kelvin (MK) to beyond 20 MK. In particular, the capability of observing low-temperature (below 2 MK) plasmas that were not accessible with the Yohkoh Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT), coupled with an order of magnitude higher cadence than SXT, has enabled XRT to make various discoveries on coronal activities. Furthermore, XRT has the unique strength of observing high-temperature plasmas in the corona that are not necessarily well observed with other coronal imagers. The scientific considerations made while designing the XRT and the key points of the instrumental features are reviewed, followed by some highlights of the scientific results obtained with XRT.


Sun: corona Sun: activity Sun: X-rays 



Hinode is a Japanese mission developed and launched by ISAS/JAXA, collaborating with NAOJ as a domestic partner and NASA and STFC (UK) as international partners. Scientific operation of the Hinode mission is conducted by the Hinode science team organized at ISAS/JAXA. This team mainly consists of scientists from institutes in the partner countries. Support for the postlaunch operation is provided by JAXA and NAOJ (Japan), STFC (UK), NASA, ESA, and NSC (Norway).

In addition, throughout the development and operation stage of Hinode, indispensable support was given by engineering researchers of JAXA and by our industrial partners, which made XRT observations possible for these 10 years with the expected observational performance. I hereby express my sincere gratitude and would appreciate continuous support to the Hinode mission.


  1. Acton, L.W., Weston, D.C., Bruner, M.E.: Deriving solar X ray irradiance from Yohkoh observations. J. Geophys. Res. 104(A7), 14827–14832 (1999)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Delaboudinière, J.-P., Artzner, G.E., Brunaud, J., et al.: EIT: extreme-ultraviolet imaging telescope for the SoHO mission. Sol. Phys. 162, 291–312 (1995)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Golub, L., DeLuca, E., Austin, G., et al.: The X-ray telescope (XRT) for the Hinode mission. Sol. Phys. 243, 63–86 (2007)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Handy, B.N., Acton, L.W., Kankelborg, C.C., et al.: The transition region and coronal explorer. Sol. Phys. 187, 229–260 (1999)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ishikawa, S.: Hinode investigations of microflares and nanoflares. Tenmon Geppo 109, 544–547 (2016)Google Scholar
  6. Kano, R., Sakao, T., Hara, H., et al.: The Hinode X-ray telescope (XRT): camera design, performance and operations. Sol. Phys. 249, 263–279 (2008)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ko, Y.-K., Raymond, J.C., Zurbuchen, T.H., et al.: Abundance variation at the vicinity of an active region and the coronal origin of the slow solar wind. Astrophys. J. 646, 1275–1287 (2006)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kojima, M., Fujiki, K., Ohmi, T., et al.: Low-speed solar wind from the vicinity of solar active regions. J. Geophys. Res. 104(A8), 16993–17003 (1999)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lee, K.-S., Brooks, D.H., Imada, S.: The origin of the solar wind observed by Hinode. Tenmon Geppo 109, 700–704 (2016)Google Scholar
  10. McComas, D.J., Bame, S.J., Barraclough, B.L. et al.: Ulysses’ return to the slow solar wind. Geophys. Res. Lett. 25(1), 1–4 (1998)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Narukage, N., Sakao, T., Kano, R., et al.: Coronal-temperature-diagnostic capability of the Hinode/X-Ray Telescope based on self-consistent calibration. Sol. Phys. 269, 169–236 (2011)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Narukage, N., Sakao, T., Kano, R., et al.: Coronal-temperature-diagnostic capability of the Hinode/X-Ray Telescope based on self-consistent calibration. II. Calibration with on-orbit data. Sol. Phys. 289, 1029–1042 (2014)Google Scholar
  13. Ohmi, T.: The origin of the low-speed solar wind. Ph.D. Thesis, Nagoya University (2003)Google Scholar
  14. Sakao, T.: Source region of the solar Wind identified with Hinode X-ray telescope. Tenmon Geppo 101, 491–496 (2008)Google Scholar
  15. Sako, N.: Statistical study of X-ray jets using Hinode/XRT. Ph.D. Thesis, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI) (2014)Google Scholar
  16. Savcheva, A., Cirtain, J., DeLuca, E.E., et al.: A study of polar jet parameters based on Hinode XRT observations. Publ. Astron. Soc. Jpn. 59, S771–S778 (2007)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shimizu, T.: Hinode’s brief history–still active. Tenmon Geppo 109, 524–528 (2016)Google Scholar
  18. Tsuneta, S., Acton, L., Bruner, M., et al.: The soft X-ray telescope for the solar-A mission. Sol. Phys. 136, 37–67 (1991)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Space and Astronautical ScienceJapan Aerospace Exploration AgencyChuo-ku, SagamiharaJapan

Personalised recommendations