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Session 37 - First Results from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
Display session, Tuesday, June 11
The Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument probes the interior of the Sun by measuring the photospheric manifestations of solar oscillations. MDI was launched in December, 1995, on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and has been successfully observing the Sun since then. The instrument images the Sun on a 1024 x 1024 pixel CCD camera through a series of increasingly narrow spectral filters. The final elements, a pair of tunable Michelson interferometers, enable MDI to record filtergrams with FWHM bandwidth of 94 mÅ\ with a resolution of 4 arcseconds over the whole disk. Images can also be collected in MDI's higher resolution (1.25 arcsecond) field centered about 160 arcseconds north of the equator.
An extensive calibration program has verified the end-to-end performance of the instrument in flight. MDI is working very well; we present the most important calibration results and a sample of early science observations. The Image Stabilization System (ISS) maintains overall pointing to better than ca. 0.01 arcsec, while the ISS' diagnostic mode allows us to measure spectrally narrow pointing jitter down to less than 1 mili-arcsec. We have confirmed the linearity of each CCD pixel to lie within 0.5%\ (the FWHM of the distribution is 0.2% ), and have to date not detected any contamination on the detector, which is cooled to -72 C. The noise in a single Dopplergram is of the order of 20 m/s, and initial measurements of transverse velocities are reliable to 100 m/s. The sensitivity of magnetograms reach 5G in a 10 minute average (15G in a single magnetogram). MDI's primary observable, the p-modes from full-disk medium-l data, are of very high quality out to l=300 as seen in the initial l-\nu diagram.
The SOI-MDI program is supported by NASA contract NAG5-3077.
Program listing for Tuesday