n August 30, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced the first data from China’s groundbreaking solar exploration satellite.
Named after the Sun deity from Chinese folklore, Xihe, also known as the Chinese H-1 Solar Explorer, was launched on October 14, 2021 and operates on the sun-synchronous orbit at an average height of 517 kilometers. Carrying an imaging spectrometer, the satellite is able to observe the Sun’s H-alpha band spectrum, SiI spectrum and FeI spectrum, the first in the world, which allows detailed study of solar activity, particularly during solar flares, including temperature and velocity.
Xihe has also tested China’s high-precision and high-stability satellite platform for photography, allowing scientists to observe nearly 100 solar flares. The CNSA said they will share the information with the world.