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Session 67 - New Solar Instrumentation.
Oral session, Wednesday, June 12
The prime goal of Solar Lite is to investigate the small- scale structure and the variability of the magnetic field in the solar atmosphere. Magnetic flux emerges from the interior and organizes itself on scales that are too small to be observed effectively and consistently through the turbulent atmosphere of the Earth, but that can be resolved by the 1-meter Solar Lite telescope operating in space. The measurements afforded by Solar Lite will provide solar physics with results needed to address several long-standing fundamental problems. These include the origin of small-scale filamentation of the magnetic field; the dynamics of sunspots; the cause for the variation in solar luminosity during the activity cycle; the mechanisms for heating the outer solar atmosphere; the magnetic field and electric current configurations responsible for solar flares; the evolution of the flux distribution as a constraint to the solar dynamo.
The main instrument is a 1-meter optical Gregory telescope, with silicon carbide lightweight mirrors. The telescope is under construction now at the Vavilov Optical Institute, supported by a NASA SRamp;T contract. The angular resolution is 0.1 arcseconds, corresponding to 75 km on the Sun. Possible focal plane instruments are a filter magnetograph and a spectro-polarimeter. We will also discuss possible co-observing telescopes than can extend the scientific value of a mission. Possible instrument accomodations on a free-flying dedicated small satellite and on shuttle launched platforms (Astro-SPAS or Spartan 400) will be shown.
Program listing for Wednesday