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DKIST ViSP
Exploring the Sun’s Magnetic Field
Alice Lecinski
National Center for Atmospheric Research
High Altitude Observatory
The High Altitude Observatory (HAO) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those
of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
DKIST
Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope
will study the sun’s magnetic field
in exquisite detail!
Daniel K Inouye, long time Senator of Hawaii, provided crucial
support in obtaining funding for this project. It will be located on
Haleakala on Maui.
Very aptly named, Haleakala is: House of the sun!
Alice Lecinski
Images courtesy David Elmore, NSO.
DKIST on Haleakala, House of the Sun
DKIST is big, really big.
The mirror is 4 meters – 13 feet!
It is the largest solar telescope in history.
Alice Lecinski
Images courtesy David Elmore, NSO.
DKIST is has 1600 actuators on the Deformable Mirror to
compensate for variations in the earths atmosphere. The
actuators move faster than 100 times a second!
Alice Lecinski
Images courtesy David Elmore, NSO.
The sun’s magnetic field reconfigures in
wonderful and amazing features and
sometimes explosive features.
Sunspots, Flares, Coronal Mass Ejections.
Sometimes these are aimed right at the
earth.
Alice Lecinski
Images courtesy David Elmore, NSO.
HAO’s instrument,
ViSP,
Visual SpectroPolarimeter
looks at the spectra of the sun.
The spectra gives us incredibly detailed
information about the sun’s magnetic field.
And ViSP simultaneously measures the
spectra at three different wavelengths!
Alice Lecinski
Images courtesy David Elmore, NSO.
ViSP
SPIE Montreal
Alice Lecinski
Images courtesy David Elmore, NSO.
ViSP
Each wavelength really tells us about
different heights in the sun’s atmosphere.
Fe I 630.2 nm
Alice Lecinski
I
Images courtesy David Elmore, NSO.
Q
U
V
So we can develop a 3D picture of the
sun’s magnetic field.
And really understand in fine detail what
that field is doing!
Y
Spectrograph
Wavelength
Alice Lecinski
Images courtesy David Elmore, NSO.
With that understanding, we hope to
predict, and then be able to protect our
satellites and power grids.
Y
Spectrograph
Wavelength
Alice Lecinski
Images courtesy David Elmore, NSO.
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