Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
The total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 provided a notable opportunity to measure the solar corona at specific emission wavelengths to gain information about coronal magnetic fields. Solar magnetic fields are intimately related to the generation of space weather and its effects on the earth, and the infrared imaging and polarization information collected on coronal emission lines here will enhance the scientific value of several other ongoing experiments, as well as benefit the astrophysics and upper atmosphere communities. Coronal measurements were collected during the 2 minute and 24 second totality period from Casper Mountain, WY. Computer-controlled telescopes automatically inserted four different narrow band pass filters to capture images in the visible range on a 4D PolCam, and in the infrared range on the FLIR 8501c camera. Each band pass filter selected a specific wavelength range that corresponded to a known coronal emission line possessing magnetic sensitivity. The 4D PolCam incorporated a novel grid of linear polarizers precisely aligned with the micron scale pixels. This allowed for direct measurement of the degree of linear polarization in a very small instrument with no external moving parts as is typically required. The FLIR offered short exposure times to freeze motion and output accurate thermal measurements. This allowed a new observation of the sun’s corona using thermal infrared technology.
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