Astro speaker: Dr. Christopher Moore
Dr. Christopher Moore from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will visit campus on November 2nd and 3rd. He will give a talk on his research titled "The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSats".
Detection of soft X-rays (sxr) from the Sun provide direct information on coronal plasma at temperatures in excess of ~1 MK, but there have been relatively few solar spectrally resolved measurements from 0.5 – 10. keV. CubeSats can be a low-cost alternative to rapidly fill astrophysical observations gaps, that large missions are currently missing. The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSat is the first solar science oriented CubeSat mission flown for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, and has provided measurements from 0.8 -12 keV, with resolving power ~40 at 5.9 keV, at a nominal ~10 second time cadence. MinXSS design and development has involved over 40 graduate students supervised by professors and professionals at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Instrument radiometric calibration was performed at the National Institute for Standard and Technology (NIST) Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility (SURF) and spectral resolution determined from radioactive X-ray sources. The MinXSS spectra allow for determining coronal abundance variations for Fe, Mg, Ni, Ca, Si, S, and Ar in active regions and during flares.