Sun Science

The words "Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager" are a mouthful and quite intimidating to someone not familiar with the terminology. Basically, RHESSI took images and spectra of the Sun in the high energy portion of the electromagnetic spectrum: X-rays and Gamma-rays. The features of the Sun that create these high energy emissions, primarily solar flares, occur in the Sun's outer layers, called the corona. There are still many unanswered questions about how solar flares work, which this mission is currently exploring.    

In order to understand the RHESSI mission, it's important to know something about the scientific topics below.  Each link will take you to a list of resources that will provide you with background information helpful in understanding the RHESSI mission.  Our materials and links will have easier, more general sources of information listed first (some of which are intended for students, but are fine for adults), and more difficult and specific sources will follow.

A screenshot of a RealMedia video, a man discussing solar mass.

RHESSI Science Nuggets

Screenshot of the RHESSI Science Nuggets website.

These nuggets display scientific results related to RHESSI observations on the Web. The nuggets are in principle helpful and explanatory, with links for further information, ideally written in such a way that any technically competent person can follow them. New nuggets are posted as they become available. Go to the nuggets page by clicking here.

Non-Solar Science

RHESSI can also study astronomical objects other than the Sun.
For more information about what non-solar science RHESSI can do, click here. 

Last updated 01/29/2010 © UC Regents