Steven R. Cranmer
Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy
Volume 29 Issue 1-2 March 2008 pp 321-327
Ultraviolet coronagraph observations of the extended solar corona (defined here as 1.5 to 10 solar radii from Sun-center) have become a powerful tool for obtaining detailed empirical descriptions of coronal holes, streamers, and coronal mass ejections. The empirical models resulting from ultraviolet coronagraph observations provide the constraints needed to test and guide theoretical models aimed at determining the physical processes that control solar wind acceleration, CME heating and acceleration, and solar energetic particle (SEP) acceleration. Measurements to date from sounding rockets, the shuttle deployed Spartan 201 satellite and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) have utilized high resolution spectroscopy over a very limited instantaneous field of view. New concepts for next generation instrumentation include imaging ultraviolet spectrocoronagraphs and large aperture ultraviolet coronagraph spectrometers. An imaging instrument would be the first to obtain absolute spectral line intensities of the extended corona over a wide field of view. Such images would provide the absolute intensities of spectral lines that can be used to determine densities and outflow velocities of specific coronal ions. Measurements from several charge states of a given element will allow electron temperatures to be determined. These measurements combined with observations of H I Ly𝛼 provide absolute chemical abundances (relative to hydrogen) for observed elements. Ultraviolet imaging would be highly complementary to a large-aperture ultraviolet coronagraph spectrometer designed for high spectral resolution observations over a small instantaneous field of view. The images would be used to select targets for more detailed spectroscopic studies with the large aperture UV coronagraph spectrometer and to provide time dependent empirical descriptions of the regions surrounding the narrow instantaneous field of view of the large aperture instrument. Descriptions of both the imaging ultraviolet spectrocoronagraph and the large aperture ultraviolet coronagraph spectrometer are provided. Recommended co-observing instruments are described.
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