The  Instrument
Movies and GIFs
About the Data
The HASTA Instrument
HASTA is installed in the Solar Division of the C.U. Cesco Station (OAFA), and provides daily full Sun disk images in the hydrogen H-alpha emission line at 6563 A. It uses a Lyot filter with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 0.3 A. A 1280 x 1024 square pixels CCD chip collects the incoming signal.


  • El Leoncito, San Juan, Argentina.
  • Longitude -69.3
  • Latitude -31.8
  • Altitude 2.370 m

       The triple tube of HASTA



  • Observation of solar flares, plages and eruptive prominences in H-alpha.


  • Diameter = 10 cm

  • Focus = 170 cm


  • Tunable Lyot-Filter

  • Central wavelength 6.563 A

  • Bandwidth 0.3 A

  • Tuning range ~ 1 A


  • CCD, Kodak KAI-2001

  • 1600 x 1200 pixels

  • Pixel size 7.4 x 7.4 micrometers


  • 2.07 arcsec

Operational modes

  • Patrol image every 1.5-3 min (tunable)
  • High time resolution image up to every 0.5 sec

Integration time

  • 50 - 100 msec
HASTA telescope and diagram
HASTA operation modes
The instrument can take images either in patrol or in high-speed mode. The camera takes images every 5 s. Each image is analyzed in real time in order to detect rapid changes in the overall intensity. If no change is detected, the algorithm stores one image every 1.5 min (patrol mode). On the other hand, if a fast change is detected, the camera automatically switches into the high-speed mode. In this mode, the telescope can take and store full-frame images up to every 3 s. These operation modes allow HASTA to be part of most of the international observing campaigns, including those where no specific participation of the instrument was requested, because we are taking full time resolution images in the moments were they are necesary, allways.

Solar data network at El Leoncito and its extension to the world

HASTA and MICA share the same building and also some of the outsider information that both telescopes need. MICA is providing the sun position and in addition seeing and weather information to HASTA. HASTA in return syncronizes both systems using GPS time.

Both instruments in OAFA (HASTA/MICA) are connected through a microwave link (2.4 GHz;2 Mbits/sec) to CASLEO Observatory, where the new Solar Submillimeter Telescope (SST) is located. HASTA provides position information of active regions on the sun as the SST has only small beams of 1.5 arcmin, respectively 3 arcmin.

This network links also the observatories to San Juan and from there a fast Internet connection to Buenos Aires and to the outside world.

Information from all three instruments is then provided to other users on a near real-time basis, an interesting aspect with respect to Space Weather. In particular, low-resolution images of HASTA are actualized every ~5 min and are accessible through the Web, as well as daily HASTA movies of theses images, recorded automatically.

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