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 during the end of the 1970s, with the aim of studying the Sun and other space objects from rockets and spacecrafts.

Research of the Sun was started in the institute in 1947th onboard 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 onboard 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 operated onboard several "Intercosmos" satellites, onboard interplanetary Fobos stations, and onboard 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 100 km. The laboratory also participates in several other projects.

The laboratory has approximately 30 staff members.

project diary

The first major spike in solar activity in the new cycle has ended
The first major spike of activity in the new 25th cycle on the Sun has ended. The peak of solar flares came on the 29th of May. The total flare activity index reached a maximum of 4.4 on 10-point scale, which corresponds to the top of the yellow level on the scale of the solar flares activity. Until the next, orange level, starting with a score of 5, the event lacked only 0.6 points.
The first major spike in solar activity in the new cycle has ended

The major spike in solar activity in recent years continues - new largest solar flare has occurred
The second, almost equal in strength to the previous one, large flare, was recorded on the Sun quite recently, less than 4 hours after the explosion of the last flare. Two large flares in a row is an extremely unusual situation for such an early phase of the solar cycle when magnetic fields are just beginning to form, and their energy is too small even for a single event.
The major spike in solar activity in recent years continues - new largest solar flare has occurred

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) = 74
Mean planetary A index = 3
Mean planetary Kp index = 1 (7 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

The following regions with sunspots can be now observed on the Sun's surface:
  • NOAA 2770 - coordinates N23 W30

Solar flocculi

The following H-alpha plages without spots can be currently observed on the Sun's surface:
  • NOAA 2769 - coordinates N27 W71
Sunspots in more detail