National Astronomical Observatory of Japan



Solar Science Observatory

On April 1, 2017, Hinode Science Center and Solar Observatory merged into Solar Science Observatory.

Solar observations from space and by ground-based telescope are further coordinated to deepen our understanding of solar activity.

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Ground-based Telescopes

Solar Observatory

The Sun seems to bless us with sunlight constantly, but actually it does not shine unchangingly. It sometimes shows sudden explosions on its surface. It shows long-term variations with the well-known 11-year cycle and longer periods. Studying the Sun not only helps us to understand the stars twinkling in the night sky but also reveals the effect of the Sun on our environment. The variability of the Sun is caused by the magnetic field, and therefore, we are investigating the Sun through its magnetic information. We are observing the Sun with the Solar Flare Telescope, which has instruments with cutting-edge technology, and we are also operating long-term monitoring observations. Research and development for next generation telescopes are also ongoing.


Hinode Science Center


Since its launch in September 2006, Japan’s solar physics satellite, the HINODE, has continued its observation of the Sun, sending back solar images of unprecedented clarity every day. HINODE carries three advanced telescopes, and the acquired data are immediately released to the world science community.

The Hinode Science Center has been playing a leading role in instrument design and development, mission operation and data analysis with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and has been promoting international collaboration with NASA, UK and ESA. The center also provides a data analysis platform computer facility where information on data analysis and the latest science results can be exchanged. The platform is actively used by researchers and educational personnel inside and outside Japan. The center is also active in public outreach through web releases about new science results from HINODE.

Official Web Site