An Imaging Vector Magnetograph for the Next Solar Maximum

  1. J. H. Waite Jr.,
  2. J. L. Burch and
  3. R. L. Moore
  1. Richard C. Canfield and
  2. Donald L. Mickey

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM054p0037

Solar System Plasma Physics

Solar System Plasma Physics

How to Cite

Canfield, R. C. and Mickey, D. L. (1989) An Imaging Vector Magnetograph for the Next Solar Maximum, in Solar System Plasma Physics (eds J. H. Waite, J. L. Burch and R. L. Moore), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM054p0037

Author Information

  1. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900742

Online ISBN: 9781118664315



  • Space plasmas;
  • Sun;
  • Magnetosphere;
  • Astrophysics


Measurements of the vector magnetic field in the sun's atmosphere with high spatial and temporal resolution over a large field-of-view are critical to understanding the nature and evolution of currents in active regions. Such measurements, when combined with the thermal and nonthermal x-ray images from the upcoming Solar-A mission, will reveal the large-scale relationship between these currents and sites of heating and particle acceleration in flaring coronal magnetic flux tubes. We describe the conceptual design of a new imaging vector magnetograph that combines a modest solar telescope with a rotating quarter-wave plate, an acousto-optic tunable prefilter as a blocker for a servo-controlled Fabry-Perot etalon, charge-coupled device cameras, and a rapid digital tape recorder. Its high spatial resolution (0.5 arc sec pixel size) over a large field-of-view (4 by 5 arc min) is expected to be sufficient to significantly measure, for the first time, the magnetic energy dissipated in major solar flares. Its millisecond tunability and wide spectral range (5000–7000 Å) enable nearly simultaneous vector magnetic field measurements in the gas-pressure-dominated photosphere and magnetically-dominated, chromosphere, as well as effective co-alignment with Solar-A's x-ray images.