Magnetic Imaging

Observations of the sun are made daily with Mojave Solar's solar telescope, located in Apple Valley, California. The Sun is imaged on the charge-coupled device (CCD) at the end of the Magneto-Optical Filter (MOF). The resulting image is used to determine small shifts in the potassium D absorption lines caused by the Zeeman effect. These measurements allow us to produce maps of the Sun's magnetic field by calculating the component along the line-of-sight. These maps are called magnetograms. Data from the CCD camera are processed in real time to produce measurements of the full solar disk.
The telescope typically operates for the entire day, obtaining one image per minute.
The raw images are each 650kB in size. To make the data readily available over the Internet, they are reduced in spatial scale and dynamic range in both JPG and GIF formats. The full resolution data are available for on-line transfer in the standardized .ZIP and FITS formats. The JPGs and GIFs are reduced to 8-bits/pixel resolution, and are intended only for casual inspection. Serious analysis of the Dopplergrams and magnetograms should only be done with the full resolution FITS or .ZIP images.
Magnetic image of the Sun taken with the Mojave Solar solar telescope. The dark spots on the disk represent northern (positive) magnetic polarity, while the white portions represent southern (negative) polarity. Image Archives


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