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See detailObservations of the White Light Corona from Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus
Howard, Russell; Thernisien, Arnaud; Vourlidas, Angelos et al

Conference (2011, December 08)

The SoloHI instrument on Solar Orbiter and the WISPR instrument on Solar Probe+ will make white light coronagraphic images of the corona as the two spacecraft orbit the Sun. The minimum perihelia for ... [more ▼]

The SoloHI instrument on Solar Orbiter and the WISPR instrument on Solar Probe+ will make white light coronagraphic images of the corona as the two spacecraft orbit the Sun. The minimum perihelia for Solar Orbiter is about 60 Rsun and for SP+ is 9.5 Rsun. The wide field of view of the WISPR instrument (about 105 degrees radially) corresponds to viewing the corona from 2.2 Rsun to 20 Rsun. Thus the entire Thomson hemisphere is contained within the telescope’s field and we need to think of the instrument as being a traditional remote sensing instrument and then transitioning to a local in-situ instrument. The local behavior derives from the fact that the maximum Thomson scattering will favor the electron plasma close to the spacecraft - exactly what the in-situ instruments will be sampling. SoloHI and WISPR will also observe scattered light from dust in the inner heliosphere, which will be an entirely new spatial regime for dust observations from a coronagraph, which we assume to arise from dust in the general neighborhood of about half way between the observer and the Sun. As the dust grains approach the Sun, they evaporate and do not contribute to the scattering. A dust free zone has been postulated to exist somewhere inside of 5 Rsun where all dust is evaporated, but this has never been observed. The radial position where the evaporation occurs will depend on the precise molecular composition of the individual grains. The orbital plane of Solar Orbiter will gradually increase up to about 35 degrees, enabling a very different view through the zodiacal dust cloud to test the models generated from in-ecliptic observations. In this paper we will explore some of the issues associated with the observation of the dust and will present a simple model to explore the sensitivity of the instrument to observe such evaporations. [less ▲]

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