China launches hydrogen-alpha solar telescope aboard Long March 2D

China has launched a small experimental solar observatory as part of a multi-satellite launch aboard a Long March 2D rocket Thursday. The launch took place from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center at 10:51 UTC (18:51 Bejing time). Thursday’s launch carried eleven satellites, with the primary payload being the Chinese Hydrogen-Alpha Solar Explorer (CHASE), which was delivered to a low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 517 kilometers, with an orbital period of around 94 minutes. The 550-kilogram CHASE satellite is a precursor to a larger Chinese solar observation satellite, the Advanced Space-Based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), which is due to launch next year. CHASE is the first satellite to be equipped for full-disk hydrogen-alpha solar spectroscopy. The spacecraft has been built around a bus which is expected to provide excellent pointing accuracy and stability. The CHASE satellite before launch The hydrogen-alpha wavelength is deep red and is centered at 656.28 nanometers – for comparison, visible light runs from 400 to 700 nanometers. Observing the Sun at the hydrogen-alpha wavelength can reveal structures, evolution, and dynamic processes associated with solar flares and filaments. Hydrogen-alpha observations can also reveal solar wave phenomena, which are precursors to coronal mass ejections, and the dynamics…

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China launches hydrogen-alpha solar telescope aboard Long March 2D

Updated: October 14, 2021 — 10:27 pm