AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 76. Advanced Solar Space Missions and Ground-based Instruments
Solar, Display, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 10:00am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[76.15] Visible-light All-sky Imagers in Deep Space

A. Buffington, P.P. Hick, B.V. Jackson (UCSD/CASS)

Emerging new techniques for very wide-angle optics and efficient light-baffling systems permit visible-light imagers capable of viewing half the sky or more starting within only a few degrees of the Sun. These instruments provide the 0.1% photometry required for studying low-contrast heliospheric features such as solar mass ejections and co-rotating structures. The imagers view sunlight Thomson-scattered from interplanetary electrons. A typical imager design provides "all-sky" photometric maps with 1 degree sky bins and a 1-hour cadence. Instrument weights of only several kilograms and modest power requirements make these imagers particularly suitable for deployment to deep space. Tomographic reconstructions of the interplanetary mass density distribution are enabled by combining data from one or more deep-space probes, with comparable instruments near Earth. These deep-space images are also suitable for discovery and study of comets and asteroids, and for detailed measurements of brightness variations in the zodiacal dust cloud.

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