NASA Facts: Hinode
Solar flares are sudden releases of energy on the solar surface lasting several minutes to a few hours. They occur when magnetic fields on the sun's surface get tangled and 'reconnect,' causing nearby plasma to become superheated.
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Overview: Hinode - Mission to the Sun
Hinode is an international mission to study our nearest star, the sun. To accomplish this, the Hinode mission includes a suite of three science instruments -- the Solar Optical Telescope, X-ray Telescope and Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer.
Together, these instruments will study the generation, transport, and dissipation of magnetic energy from the photosphere to the corona and will record how energy stored in the sun's magnetic field is released, either gradually or violently, as the field rises into the sun’s outer atmosphere.
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