SphinX: The Solar Photometer in X-Rays

Abstract

Solar Photometer in X-rays (SphinX) was a spectrophotometer developed to observe the Sun in soft X-rays. The instrument observed in the energy range ≈ 1 – 15 keV with resolution ≈ 0.4 keV. SphinX was flown on the Russian CORONAS–PHOTON satellite placed inside the TESIS EUV and X telescope assembly. The spacecraft launch took place on 30 January 2009 at 13:30 UT at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. The SphinX experiment mission began a couple of weeks later on 20 February 2009 when the first telemetry dumps were received. The mission ended nine months later on 29 November 2009 when data transmission was terminated. SphinX provided an excellent set of observations during very low solar activity. This was indeed the period in which solar activity dropped to the lowest level observed in X-rays ever. The SphinX instrument design, construction, and operation principle are described. Information on SphinX data repositories, dissemination methods, format, and calibration is given together with general recommendations for data users. Scientific research areas in which SphinX data find application are reviewed.

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Acknowledgements

This work obtained support from grant no. N203 381736 of Polish Ministry of Education and Science. SphinX was developed within the framework of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Sciences bi-lateral agreement on cooperation in space research. The SphinX project was also partially supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 08-02-01301-a) program for fundamental research of the Physical Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Processes in Solar System Plasma”. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme under the grant agreement no. 284461 (eHEROES project). The authors thank the anonymous referee for suggestions and help with preparation of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Szymon Gburek.

Appendix: SphinX WWW Resources

Appendix: SphinX WWW Resources

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Gburek, S., Sylwester, J., Kowalinski, M. et al. SphinX: The Solar Photometer in X-Rays . Sol Phys 283, 631–649 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-012-0201-8

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Keywords

  • Solar corona
  • Solar instrumentation
  • X-rays