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Steps Towards a Virtual Solar Observatory  

Dominic Zarro   Submitted: 2001-05-30 10:04

The sun is the most observed star. Hundreds of telescopes observe the multitude of phenomena associated with its activity, such as flares, coronal mass ejections, oscillations, etc. The proximity of the sun gives us the opportunity to observe these phenomena with relatively high spatial resolution. This not only helps investigating phenomena taking place on far more remote stars, but also helps understanding the local space conditions in which the Earth evolves. Often, observations are coordinated in campaigns involving several instruments. Coordinated observations focus on specific targets—e.g. solar “active” regions (Canfield, 1999). During coordinated observations, the target is observed in a broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum, each individual instrument focussing on the observation of a specific, relatively narrower range. Spacecraft participating in coordinated observations include the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI, X-ray and Gamma-rays imager and spectrometer); instruments of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO, spectrometer, chronograph, Doppler imaging, etc.); the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE, extreme UV and UV); the Japanese soft X-ray and hard X-ray imager Yohkoh. On the ground, over 45 instruments also participate in coordinated observations. This includes the Big Bear Solar Observatory (Hα imager), the Ovens Valley Solar Array (OVSA, radio imager), the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun program in Arizona (SOLIS, vector spectromagnetograph, full disk patrol, spectrometer), and Phoenix-2 in Zurich (radio spectrometer).

Authors: Csillaghy, A, Zarro, D.M, & Freeland, S.L.

Publication Status: IEEE Signal Processing Magazine 2001 Vol 18, No. 2, pp 41-48
Last Modified: 2001-05-30 10:13
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