34th Solar Physics Division Meeting, June 2003
Session 20 Instrumentation
Poster, Wednesday, June 18, 2003, 3:30-5:00pm, Mezzanine

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[20.11] Prominence and Filament Activity Recorded with a New, Tunable, One-Angstrom Filter

S. F. Martin, D.C. Martin (Helio Research)

New observations using a one-Angstrom H\alpha tunable multi-layer interference filter demonstrate the efficacy of this filter in detecting key Doppler shifts in filaments and prominences both before and during their eruption. The new filter is superior as a prefilter. However, here we emphasize its merits as a stand-alone filter. The new filter was constructed from 2 single-period interference filters. Used in tandem, the two filters allow us to achieve an effective one Angstrom passband that is tunable by mechanical tilting over a useful range of at least 6 Angstroms. Employed in a solar telescope and starting at H\alpha line center, an observer can detect all filaments on the solar disk, a goal not achievable with most other one-Angstrom filters. The observer can then initiate manual or automated tuning of the filter to determine whether a filament has normal, low Doppler shifts or increased Doppler shifts signaling that it is either activated or in the early stage of eruption. Our few initial observations reveal activations as readily as through much more expensive, ultra-narrow passband filters of the Fabry-Perot or birefringent type. Less visibility of chromospheric fine structure might be considered either an asset or disadvantage depending upon the observational goals. Minor changes in the filter passband with wavelength are a possible downside to be weighed against its relative low cost, minimal mass, and ruggedness which make it practical for monitoring major solar activity in space experiments as well as from the ground. The development and use of this filter was possible through NASA grant NAG5-9517.


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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.