AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 65. Advanced Solar Space Missions
Solar, Oral, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, Continental Ballroom C

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[65.02] Needs for Future of Visible Light Observation

P. H. Scherrer (Stanford University)

There are a number of both recent and long-standing questions that require space-based visible light observations of the Sun. These fit into several general categories including total irradiance measurements, coronal and heliospheric structures, high resolution vector magnetic fields, high resolution photospheric structures, and the structure and dynamics of the solar interior for both global and local phenomena.

Much progress has been made lately or is in development for the near future. In particular solar interior studies have had significant development with SOHO and GONG observations, Solar-B will address moderately high-resolution structures and fields, STEREO will address dynamic structures in the corona, etc.

Nevertheless there will remain many very important questions after these missions are complete. The interior dynamics near the rotation axis and near the poles remains elusive. Detecting magnetic fields at the base of the convection zone remains beyond reach. Imaging the motions in the upper part of the convection zone beneath active regions has been demonstrated but detailed study is not possible with current instrumentation. Full disk moderate resolution and small region high resolution magnetic field observations just serve to point to the need for full disk high resolution magnetic observations. And observations of magnetoconvective fine scale structures remain just beyond reach.

These needs and some possible observing scenarios will be discussed.

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