The Sun is an ordinary fixed star, but it is the nearest star. The Sun dominates in the solar system as its leader, and the Sun gives an influence on our every activity. Because almost all the phenomena happening in the universe are also thought to happen on the solar surface and in the Sun, the investigation of the Sun is the royal road for astrophysics to understand the universe, and it is the shortest route, as well.
We, the Solar Science Observatory, push forward an advanced study of solar physics, while utilizing data taken by artificial satellites and large facilities on the ground to the maximum, and developing the advanced instruments for observation. We push forward the scientific operation of the Hinode satellite in cooperation with Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, and support the studies using the data obtained by Hinode. We carry out long-term continuous observation via our facilities in NAOJ, and provide data for joint studies. Theoretical considerations and computer the simulations are necessary tools for the analysis of these data, we also help develop them as important research methods.
The Sun is a star only 150 million kilometer away from the earth. The earth is full of life, not freezing cold, owing to the energy supplied from the Sun. Occasionally the Sun shows "flare explosion", and the blast wave reaches the earth in about one day and shakes the magnetosphere and produces aurorae. In the Division of Solar and Plasma Astrophysics, we are studying the Sun from its interior to the surface and to the outer atmosphere (the corona), using both of the ground-based and space based solar telescopes. Our challenge is to understand the mechanism of the Sun's magnetic activity and its influence on the earth and human activity.
CLASP is a sounding rocket experiment further to investigate the mysteries of the Sun that Hinode pioneered unveiling. It was launched on September 3, 2015, and successfully observed the polarization signals to derive the magnetic fields in the solar chromosphere. CLASP is also aimed at a path finder for the Solar-C mission.
See this page.
Hinode has taught us that it is important to precisely measure the magnetic fields and plasma structures connecting the photosphere and the corona with resolutions higher than those of Hinode. The mission to realize this type of observation in space is our next solar observing satellite, SOLAR-C.
See this page.