Welcome to the UC Berkeley Education & Public Outreach site for NASA's RHESSI mission.

RHESSI, which stands for Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager, is a space telescope which observes energetic flares from the Sun. A solar flare is an dynamic event on the Sun in which a large amount of energy is released quite rapidly. These energetic events heat the surrounding gas to temperatures over 10 million degrees Kelvin! The gas is so hot that it radiates X-rays and Gamma-rays. Such high energy light waves cannot penetrate Earth's atmosphere. This is lucky for those of us living on Earth, but it makes it difficult to study the details of solar flares.

Solar scientists are trying to understand the processes that cause the release of such large amounts of energy so suddenly. In order to do this they must put telescopes in space to observe the energy from the solar flare before it is absorbed in Earth's atmosphere. RHESSI is a space-based solar telescope in orbit around Earth and helped scientists toward this goal by obtaining high resolution images and spectra of solar flares.

We hope you find this collection of resources useful in expanding your understanding of the RHESSI mission and solar science.

This site is comprised of six sections. . .

News and Events

Here you will find links to articles about RHESSI. You will also find a Gallery of daily images of the Sun. And Coming Soon there will be a gallery of RHESSI images and movies!

Sun Science

The Sun Science section provides valuable links to websites which discuss many aspects of studying the Sun.


The Gallery section contains images of RHESSI data as well as movies of Solar Flares observed by RHESSI.

Mission Information

Mission Information provides links to more detailed discussions of the RHESSI spacecraft from RHESSI mission websites.

Virtual Tour

The Virtual Tour leads you through the RHESSI mission from launch to orbit. The tour also discusses how scientists receive and process data to learn more about the Sun.

K-12 Curriculum

The K-12 Curriculum section is a collection of links to tutorials and hands-on activities where you can learn about satellites, solar science and build a model of the RHESSI spacecraft.

Feel free to jump around the different sections in any order that interests you.

Also, please visit the RHESSI Education & Public Outreach website at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center for additional information.


Last updated 01/29/2010 © UC Regents