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D. M. Smith, R. P. Lin, J. McTiernan (Space Sciences Laboratory, U. C. Berkeley)
The \it High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI)\rm, a NASA Small Explorer now scheduled for launch in late March of 2001, will perform a number of astrophysical observations in addition to its primary mission of x-ray and gamma-ray imaging and spectroscopy of solar flares. Its nine high-resolution, large-volume, unshielded germanium detectors will carry on the heritage of instruments like CGRO/BATSE and Wind/TGRS, but with much higher energy resolution than the former and an order of magnitude more detector volume than the latter. New levels of sensitivity and perhaps new discoveries are expected in these topics: lineshapes of Galactic nucleosynthesis lines; spectroscopy of gamma-ray bursts; shapes of cyclotron absorption lines in x-ray pulsars; detection of prompt positron annihilation flashes in classical novae; arcsecond imaging of the Crab nebula in hard x-rays; and others.
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