We present results from the the first campaign of dedicated solar observations undertaken by the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ARray (NuSTAR) hard X-ray (HXR) telescope. Designed as an astrophysics mission, NuSTAR nonetheless has the capability of directly imaging the Sun at HXR energies (>3 keV) with an increase in sensitivity of at least two magnitude compared to current non-focusing telescopes. In this paper we describe the scientific areas where NuSTAR will make major improvements on existing solar measurements. We report on the techniques used to observe the Sun with NuSTAR, their limitations and complications, and the procedures developed to optimize solar data quality derived from our experience with the initial solar observations. These first observations are briefly described, including the measurement of the Fe K-shell lines in a decaying X-class flare, HXR emission from high in the solar corona, and full-disk HXR images of the Sun.
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© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
- Sun: X-rays, gamma rays
- acceleration of particles
- methods: data analysis