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The First Focused Hard X-ray Images of the Sun with NuSTAR

Grefenstette, Brian W. and Glesener, Lindsay and Krucker, Säm and Hudson, Hugh and Hannah, Iain G. and Smith, David M. and Vogel, Julia K. and White, Stephen M. and Madsen, Kristin K. and Marsh, Andrew J. and Caspi, Amir and Chen, Bin and Shih, Albert and Kuhar, Matej and Boggs, Steven E. and Christensen, Finn E. and Craig, William W. and Forster, Karl and Hailey, Charles J. and Harrison, Fiona A. and Miyasaka, Hiromasa and Stern, Daniel and Zhang, William W. (2016) The First Focused Hard X-ray Images of the Sun with NuSTAR. Astrophysical Journal, 826 (1). Art. No. 20. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/826/1/20.

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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.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Grefenstette, Brian W.0000-0002-1984-2932
Glesener, Lindsay0000-0001-7092-2703
Hudson, Hugh0000-0001-5685-1283
Hannah, Iain G.0000-0003-1193-8603
Smith, David M.0000-0002-0542-5759
White, Stephen M.0000-0002-8574-8629
Madsen, Kristin K.0000-0003-1252-4891
Marsh, Andrew J.0000-0003-1086-6900
Caspi, Amir0000-0001-8702-8273
Kuhar, Matej0000-0002-7210-180X
Boggs, Steven E.0000-0001-9567-4224
Christensen, Finn E.0000-0001-5679-1946
Forster, Karl0000-0001-5800-5531
Harrison, Fiona A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Miyasaka, Hiromasa0000-0002-8074-4186
Stern, Daniel0000-0003-2686-9241
Zhang, William W.0000-0002-1426-9698
Additional Information:© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 January 27. Accepted 2016 May 20. Published 2016 July 18. This work was supported under NASA contract NNG08FD60C and made use of data from the NuSTAR mission, a project led by the California Institute of Technology, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by NASA. Additional funding for this work was also provided under NASA grants NNX12AJ36G and NNX14AG07G. S.K. acknowledges funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (200021-140308). A.J.M.'s participation was supported by NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship award NNX13AM41H. Part of this work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. A.C. was supported by NASA grants NNX15AK26G and NNX14AN84G. I.G.H. is supported by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. We thank the NuSTAR Operations, Software and Calibration teams for support with the execution and analysis of these observations. This research made use of the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS), jointly developed by the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC, Italy) and the California Institute of Technology (USA). This research made extensive use of the IDL Astronomy Library ( and of the SolarSoft IDL distribution (SSW). Additional figures were produced using the Veusz plotting package (© 2003–2015 Jeremy Sanders). Facility: NuSTAR.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, NuSTAR
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)200021-140308
NASA Earth and Space Science FellowshipNNX13AM41H
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC52-07NA27344
Subject Keywords:acceleration of particles; methods: data analysis; Sun: X-rays, gamma rays
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Space Radiation Laboratory2016-43
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160805-091208103
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Brian W. Grefenstette et al 2016 ApJ 826 20
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:69463
Deposited By: Deborah Miles
Deposited On:09 Aug 2016 16:23
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 04:14

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