The Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) sounding rocket payload flew for the first time on 2012 November 2 producing the first focused images of the Sun above 5 keV. To enable hard X-ray (HXR) imaging spectroscopy via direct focusing, FOXSI makes use of grazing-incidence replicated optics combined with fine-pitch solid-state detectors. On its first flight, FOXSI observed several targets that included active regions, the quiet Sun, and a GOES-class B2.7 microflare. This Letter provides an introduction to the FOXSI instrument and presents its first solar image. These data demonstrate the superiority in sensitivity and dynamic range that is achievable with a direct HXR imager with respect to previous, indirect imaging methods, and illustrate the technological readiness for a spaceborne mission to observe HXRs from solar flares via direct focusing optics.
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- Sun: X-rays gamma rays
- Sun: corona
- Sun: flares
- instrumentation: miscellaneous