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Spacecraft magnetometers are magnetometers used aboard spacecraft and satellites, mostly for scientific investigations, plus attitude sensing. Magnetometers are among the most widely used scientific instruments in exploratory and observation satellites. These instruments were instrumental in the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts around Earth by Explorer 1, and have detailed the magnetic fields of the Earth, Moon, Sun, Mars, Venus and other planets. There are ongoing missions using magnetometers, including attempts to define the shape and activity of Saturn's core.
The first spacecraft-borne magnetometer was placed on the Sputnik 3 spacecraft in 1958 and the most detailed magnetic observations of the Earth have been performed by the Magsat and Ørsted satellites. Magnetometers were taken to the Moon during the later Apollo missions. Many instruments have been used to measure the strength and direction of magnetic field lines around Earth and the solar system.
Spacecraft magnetometers basically fall into three categories: fluxgate, search-coil and ionized gas magnetometers. The most accurate magnetometer complexes on spacecraft contain two separate instruments, with a helium
A coronagraph is a telescopic attachment designed to block out the direct light from a star so that nearby objects – which otherwise would be hidden in the star's bright glare – can be resolved. Most coronagraphs are intended to view the corona of the Sun, but a new class of conceptually similar instruments (called stellar coronagraphs to distinguish them from solar coronagraphs) are being used to find extrasolar planets around nearby stars.
The coronagraph was introduced in 1930 by the French astronomer Bernard Lyot; since then, coronagraphs have been used at many solar observatories. Coronagraphs operating within Earth's atmosphere suffer from scattered light in the sky itself, due primarily to Rayleigh scattering of sunlight in the upper atmosphere. At view angles close to the Sun, the sky is much brighter than the background corona even at high altitude sites on clear, dry days. Ground based coronagraphs, such as the High Altitude Observatory's Mark IV Coronagraph on top of Mauna Loa, use polarization to distinguish sky brightness from the image of the corona: both coronal light and sky brightness are scattered sunlight and have similar spectral properties, but the coronal
associated observatory:Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
The Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) is one of a number of instruments aboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory satellite (SOHO). LASCO consists of three solar coronagraphs with nested fields of view:
The first principal investigator was Dr. Guenter Brueckner. These coronagraphs monitor the solar corona by using an optical system to create, in effect, an artificial solar eclipse. The white light coronagraphs C2 and C3 produce images of the corona over much of the visible spectrum, while the C1 interferometer produces images of the corona in a number of very narrow visible wavelength bands.
LASCO C3, the clear coronagraph picture, has a shutter time of about 19 seconds. LASCO C2, the orange picture, has a shutter speed of about 26 seconds.
The three LASCO cameras have a resolution of one megapixel. The base unit of LASCO's pictures are blocks of 32x32 pixels. If only one bit is missing, as it could occur due to disturbances, the whole block is gated out.
The LASCO instruments are not the newest. They were built in the late 80s, when a digital camera was something very special. Sometimes disturbances do happen.
There are two kinds that repeatedly occur:
The Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) is an instrument on the SOHO spacecraft used to obtain high-resolution images of the solar corona in the ultraviolet range. The EIT instrument is sensitive to light of four different wavelengths: 17.1, 19.5, 28.4, and 30.4 nm, corresponding to light produced by highly ionized iron (XI)/(X), (XII), (XV), and helium (II), respectively. EIT is built as a single telescope with a quadrant structure to the entrance mirrors: each quadrant reflects a different colour of EUV light, and the wavelength to be observed is selected by a shutter that blocks light from all but the desired quadrant of the main telescope.
The EIT wavelengths are of great interest to solar physicists because they are emitted by the very hot solar corona but not by the relatively cooler photosphere of the Sun; this reveals structures in the corona that would otherwise be obscured by the brightness of the Sun itself. EIT was originally conceived as a viewfinder instrument to help select observing targets for the other instruments on board SOHO, but EIT is credited with a good fraction of the original science to come from SOHO, including the first observations of traveling
The McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope is a 1.6-m f/54 reflecting solar telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, USA. The building was designed by Myron Goldsmith and built in 1962. It is the largest telescope of its kind in the world and is named for astronomers Robert McMath and Keith Pierce. At the dedication in 1962, Dr. Waterman read a letter from President Kennedy starting with:
The telescope contains a heliostat at the top of its main tower which focuses the sun's light down a long shaft. The distinctive diagonal shaft continues underground, where the telescope's primary mirror is located. The theoretical resolution of this main telescope 0.07 arcsec, although this is never reached because atmospheric distortions degrade the image quality severely. The image scale is 2.50 arcsec/mm at the image plane.
In addition to this 1.6-meter primary mirror, there are also an East- and West-auxiliary telescope which are completely independent of the main telescope. These two auxiliary telescopes both have a 0.91-meter heliostat which are located beside the main heliostat. These auxiliary telescopes have a slightly shorter focal length and f-numbers of 50 and 44. The resolution