AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 76. First Results from RHESSI
SPD Oral, Thursday, June 6, 2002, 10:00-11:30am, Ballroom C

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[76.01] The Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) Mission

R. P. Lin (University of California, Berkeley), RHESSI Team

The RHESSI mission investigates particle acceleration and energy release in solar flares, through imaging and spectroscopy of hard X-ray/gamma-ray continuum and gamma-ray lines emitted by energetic electrons and ions, respectively. Imaging is achieved with nine bi-grid rotating modulation collimators, each with a cooled segmented germanium detector to cover from 3 keV to 17 MeV. RHESSI provides the first imaging spectroscopy in hard X-rays with ~2 arcsec angular resolution, time resolution to tens of ms, and ~1 keV energy resolution; the first gamma-ray line spectroscopy with ~2-5 keV energy resolution; and the first gamma-ray line and continuum imaging with ~36-arcsecond angular resolution. The Sun-pointed spin-stabilized RHESSI spacecraft was successfuly launched on 5 February 2002 into a 600 km altitude, 38 degree inclination orbit, and began observations a week later. All the data and the analysis software have been made available to the scientific community. I will describe the unique capabilities of RHESSI and present some initial results from the first few months of operation.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.