AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 80. Here Comes the Sun: Plans for the Y2K Solar Maximum
Solar, Oral, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 3:45-5:30pm, Continental Ballroom C

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[80.01] High Energy Flare Science with HESSI

G.J. Hurford (University of California, Berkeley / NASA-GSFC), HESSI Team

The High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) is a NASA Small-Explorer mission to be launched in July 2000 with the primary scientific objective of exploring the basic physics of particle acceleration and energy release in solar flares. This is achieved through imaging/spectroscopy of flare emissions from 3 kev through 15 MeV. Over this energy range, a common set of detectors and 'optics' will simultaneously observe thermal and superthermal components, nonthermal x-rays, nuclear lines and the high-energy gamma-ray continuum, all with high spatial and spectral resolution. Imaging is based on a set of 9 rotating modulation collimators with FWHM resolutions ranging from 2.3 to 183 arcseconds. Nine segmented germanium detectors provide sufficiently high energy resolution (~1 kev below 1 MeV, increasing to 5 kev at 15 MeV) to enable effective interpretation of the steep continuum spectra and to resolve most of the nuclear gamma-ray lines. Broad participation in the analysis and use of HESSI data is encouraged by on-line, prompt and unrestricted access to the HESSI database and analysis software.

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