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NASA's Solar Maximum Mission a Look at a New Sun

NASA's Solar Maximum Mission a Look at a New Sun

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Apr 30, 2011
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04/30/2011

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NASA's
Solar Maximum Mission
:
A
Look
at
a
New
Sun
(NASA-TH-8953
9)
NASA's
SOLAR
MAX
IMUH
N87-30245
I4ISSILON:
A
LOOK
AT
A
NEW
SUN
(NASA)
48
p
Avail:
NTIS
HC
A03/Hf:
So1
CSCL 03b
Uncl
as
Gd/92
0103500
 
1‘
I,
FRONT
COVER
PHOTOGRAPH:
Intensity and lime-of-sight velocity images obtained by the
SMM
Ultraviolet Spectrometer and Polarimeter in the resonanceline of
C
IV
at
1548.19
A.
In
this observing mode, which employs the Doppler shift of spectral lines to determine relativevelocities of emitting plasma along the line of sight, the spectrograph exit slit is bisected by a beamsplitter prism that directs theshort- and long-wavelength portions of the line profde to separate detectors. The intensity image (left) is simply the sum of thetwo signals at each picture element (“pixel”), while the velocity image (right) is given by the ratio of the difference
of
the signalsover their
sum.
The velocity image is colorcoded
so
that approaching (“blue-shifted”) material is
shown
as
blue, and receding(“red-shifted”) material
is
shown
as red.The large loop system extending above the solar limb connects regions of opposite magnetic polarity. Apparently, the loopsystem is the remnant of
an
earlier flare that occurred just behind the limb. It is believed that, after plasma heated to tens ofmillions of degrees
K
is injected into such loop systems
in
the brief impulsive phase of a solar flare,
the
plasma cools radiatively
-
i.e., by emitting radiation
-
during the longer gradual phase. initially, this radiation is characteristically at soft X-ray wave-lengths; then,
as
the material cools, progressively lower-temperature emission
is
observed. The
C
IV
line is formed at
100,OOO
K.
 
NASA’s
Solar Maximum Mission:
A
Look
at
a
New
Sun
Prepared
by
The
SMM
Principal Investigator TeamsEdited
by
Joseph
B.
Gurman
JUNE
1987

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