FOXSI-4 observes large solar flare

[by Orlando Romeo and Savannah Perez-Piel] The Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) is a sub-orbital rocket mission dedicated to the observation of both soft and hard X-rays emitted by the Sun. Comprising of seven focusing optical modules and detectors, the three preceding iterations of the FOXSI project successfully conducted observations of solar radiation under quiet solar conditions. Now, FOXSI-4 aims to enhance its observational capabilities with improved optics and detectors during NASA’s first solar flare campaign.
FOXSI-4 launched on April 17th, 2024 from the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska within a designated two-week launch window. During this period, the mission team monitored solar conditions for the onset of a M-class solar flare. Once detected, FOXSI-4 launched along with the Hi-C FLARE experiment, simultaneously observing the flare. The solar flare campaign represents a significant milestone in Heliophysics, facilitating the opportunity for multiple near-simultaneous observations of a single flare, with other solar missions such as PSP and Solar Orbiter.

FOXSI-4, Hi-C Flare, NSROC and NASA teams gathered at the rocket rails a couple of days before initiating the launch window at the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska.
FOXSI-4 team at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. In the photo: SSL grad students, engineers and researchers join the teams from UMN and several institutions in Japan.