On This Day in Space: Sept. 22, 2006: Japan launches Hinode solar observatory

On Sept. 22, 2006,the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency launched a sun-observing satellite called Hinode, or Solar-B. It was named after the Japanese word for “sunrise.”

Related: The Greatest Missions to the Sun
The satellite orbits about 400 miles (644 kilometers) above the Earth in a sun-synchronous orbit, which means it’s always facing the sun. Since it launched, it’s been measuring the sun’s magnetic fields and taking cool photos of solar flares, sunspots and transits across the sun.
Catch up on our entire “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist.
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Still not enough space? Don’t forget to check out our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week.

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