About the laboratory

The Laboratory of X-Ray Astronomy of the Sun is a subdivision of the Spectroscopy department in the Lebedev Institute of the Russian Academy of Science. The laboratory was founded at the end of the 1970s , with the aim of studying the Sun and other space objects from rockets and spacecrafts.

Researches of the Sun were started in the in the institute in 1947th on board rockets R1a and, with the beginning of the space era, were continued using the artificial Earth satellites. In 1957, the scientist of Lebedev Institute for the first time observed short wavelength emission of the Sun from the board of the second Russian satellite ("Sputnik-2"). In 1963, the first X-ray image of the Sun was obtained. At the end of the 1960s, the first X-ray spectra with the wavelength shorter than 10 angstrom were registered.

Today the laboratory is the leading Russian center to design and construct space telescopes for solar researches. The instruments created in the laboratory worked on board several "Intercosmos" satellites, on board interplanetary Fobos stations, and on board three spacecrafts launched in the frameworks of the CORONAS space program. Now the laboratory is working on developing four scientific instruments intended for the Russian space mission "Interhelioprobe". The laboratory team is also responsible for the "ARKA" project - unique solar telescopes that will provide for the first time the images of solar corona with a spatial resolution of about than 100 km. The laboratory also participates in several other projects.

The laboratory has a staff of approximately 30.

project diary

Solar activity hits a new low
The Sun has come all of one day away from breaking its record for the longest period of inactivity for the last decade reaching a mid-summer low and falling into yet another state of hibernation. Yesterday, on the first day of autumn, new sunspots appeared on the surface of the Sun following an absence of almost 50 days. The small group of just two spots was registered by the NOAA as number 1025 when it formed yesterday in the Suns northern hemisphere close to its eastern limb. Astrophysicists had to wait almost two months for this event: the group of sunspots occupying the last line of the catalogue (number 1024), vanished from the solar disk on 11 July this year.
Solar activity hits a new low

The Sun a summer without activity
Precisely one month ago, on 11 July 2009, the last active area of the new solar cycle disappeared from the surface of the Sun. Over the 30 days following this, neither observers on Earth nor devices in space have been able to detect the emergence of any sunspots. Due to the fact that the Sun has completed a full rotation around its axis during this period, it is possible to conclude that not only are there no sunspots on the side facing Earth, but that there are no sunspots on the entire surface of the Sun. Therefore, it seems that our star has once again returned to a state of deep solar winter, following several sparks of activity in May-June 2009. Today (12 August) marks the start of the second month of this solar inactivity.
The Sun a summer without activity

Diary's archive

Astronomy news

NASA's Spitzer Images Out-of-This-World Galaxy
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has imaged a wild creature of the dark -- a coiled galaxy with an eye-like object at its center.

Earth Seen By NASA's Moon Mapper On India's Chandrayaan-1 Spacecraft
A new image of Earth taken from 200 kilometers (124 miles) above the lunar surface was taken by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, one of two NASA instruments onboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

Double Engine Fuels Star's Remarkable Nebula
ESO has just released a stunning new image of a field of stars towards the constellation of Carina (the Keel). This striking view is ablaze with a flurry of stars of all colors and brightnesses, some of which are seen against a backdrop of clouds of dust and gas. One unusual star in the middle, HD 87643, has been extensively studied with several ESO telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI)

News archive

Space weather

Magnetic storms in the last 24 hours:

No geomagnetic storms were observed

Magnetic storms

Magnetic storms in the next 24 hours:

are not expected

Magnetic storm forecast

Current activity of the Sun:

Solar radio flux (10.7 cm) = 76
Mean planetary A index = 8
Mean planetary Kp index = 2 (15 nT)
Solar flares today

The Sun today

Solar chromosphere

Solar photosphere

(Sun in the visible rays)

Transition region

The Solar corona

click image to view

View all Solar images

Sunspot groups

Sunspot groups

No sunspots and sunspot groups can be currently observed on the Sun's surface

Solar flocculi

No H-alpha plages without spots can be currently observed on the Sun's surface
Sunspots in more detail