GOES-12 Solar X-ray Imager Archive

The GOES Solar X-ray Imager is integrated into the GOES-12 satellite, whose primary mission is to provide Earth-weather monitoring. The SXI is operated by NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). NOAA's Space Environment Center (SEC) receives the telemetry stream directly from SXI, processes the data, and integrates the observations into their space weather alert and forecast services. The data are sent in real time to NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (formerly National Geophysical Data Center) where they are immediately made available to the public, and preserved in a secure archive for future research. SXi was launched in with GOES-M on July 23, 2001 Post Launch Test data were available from August - December 2001.SXI officially entered operations in April 2003.
Cite this dataset when used as a source.
  • ID not available.
Other Access
Distribution Formats
  • Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) (Version: NOST 100-2.0)
    • File Specification: http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/heasarc/fits.html
Ordering Instructions Select and retrieve data volumes less than 500 MB via the search option. Contact distributor to order data offline via CD or DVD.
Distributor Daniel C. Wilkinson
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
(303) 497-6137
Time Period 2001-08-25 to Present
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 90
S: -90
E: 180
W: -180
Spatial Coverage Map
Dataset Information
General Documentation
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2001-09-07
Dataset Progress Status Under development - data is currently in the process of being created
Data Update Frequency As needed
Supplemental Information
Purpose The Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) is used to determine when to issue forecasts and alerts of 'space weather' conditions that may interfere with ground and space systems. These conditions include ionospheric changes that affect radiocommunication (both ground-to-ground and satellite-to-ground) and magnetospheric variations that induce currents in electric power grids and long distance pipelines and can cause navigational errors in magnetic guidance systems, introduce changes in spacecraft charging, produce high energy particles that can cause single event upsets in satellite circuitry, and expose astronauts to increased radiation. SXI will observe solar flares, solar active regions, coronal holes, and coronal mass ejections. Images from SXI will be used by NOAA and U.S. Air Force forecasters to monitor solar conditions that affect space weather conditions that are used to describe the dynamic environment of energetic particles, solar wind streams, and coronal mass ejections emanating from the Sun. The SXI, performing as a part of the Space Environment Monitor (SEM)instruments, provides the means for obtaining the solar data required to: Locate coronal holes for predicting high speed solar wind streams causing recurrent geomagnetic storms, and also locate transient coronal holes as a source of ejecta. Locate flares on the disk and beyond the west limb for proton event warnings. Monitor for changes indicating coronal mass ejections (CME) that may impact Earth and cause geomagnetic storms. Large-scale, long duration, possible weakly emitting events, and brightening of coronal filament arcades are used as evidence of CMEs. Observe active region size morphology and complexity, and temperature and emissions measure, for flare forecasts. Monitor for active regions beyond eastlimb that will be rotating onto the solar disk. Other solar feature observations include flare properties, newly emerging active regions, X-ray bright points, and following CME ejecta at 1000 km/sec. To meet these objectives, the SXI images the solar corona in the soft X-ray to extreme ultraviolet (XUV) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Full-disk solar images are provided with a 512 X 512 array with 5 arcsec pixels in several wavelength bands from 6 to 60 E (0.6 to 6 nm). A regular sequence of exposures that are downlinked at one-minute intervals is used to cover the full dynamic range needed to monitor solar activity. The SXI telescope is mounted on the X-ray Positioner (XRP), and its associated electronics boxes are on the solar array yoke of the GOES-M spacecraft. The SXI is Government-furnished equipment.
Use Limitations
  • While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Weather Service (NWS)
  • National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)
  • Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC)
  • NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Theme keywords NASA/GCMD Earth Science Keywords
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Solar-terrestrial Interactions > Solar Activity > Corona Holes
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Solar-terrestrial Interactions > Solar Activity > Solar Flares
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Solar-terrestrial Interactions > Solar Activity > Solar Imagery
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Solar-terrestrial Interactions > Solar Activity > Solar X-rays
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Project keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
  • ICSU-WDS > International Council for Science - World Data System
Use Constraints
  • Use Constraints: Credit citation to NOAA requested.
Access Constraints
  • Access Constraints: none
  • No charge for automated online delivery. Custom, and offline requests, require prepayment. Fees vary based on size and complexity.
Lineage information for: dataset
Processing Steps
  • 2001-09-07T00:00:00 - SXI data are acquired from the Space Environment Center. SEC downloads the raw telemetry data from GOES-12, and converts them to Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) image files.
Source Datasets
  • Solar X-Ray Imager Archive
    • GOES Solar X-Ray Imager
      Information on the GOES Solar X-Ray Imager
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: Source imagery is generated by the Solar X-ray Imager Source Type: FTP
    • Time Instant: 2001-01-01
    • GOES Solar X-Ray Imager (search)
      Search the GOES-12 archive for images
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: Source imagery is generated by the Solar X-ray Imager Source Type: FTP
    • Time Instant: 2001-01-01
Lineage information for: repository
Processing Steps
  • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
Last Modified: 2015-09-29
For questions about the information on this page, please email: Daniel.C.Wilkinson@noaa.gov