Solar Physics Division Meeting 2000, June 19-22
Session 2. Corona, Solar Wind, Flares, CMEs, Solar-stellar, Instrumentation, Other
Display, Chair: J. Krall, Monday-Thursday, June 19, 2000, 8:00am-6:00pm, Forum Ballroom

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[2.55] Observations of H-alpha Polarization in Flares

D. L. Mickey (University of Hawaii), T. R. Metcalf, L. Fletcher (Lockheed Martin ATC)

Max Millennium Coordinated Observing Plan #006 has as its goal the measurement of H-alpha linear polarization, a possible signature of low-energy proton beams in solar flares. Such observations have been attempted in the past, but the results were inconclusive. A campaign involving Mees Solar Observatory and Big Bear Solar Observatory, together with Yohkoh, SOHO and TRACE spacecraft, was carried out during the latter half of March 2000. We present preliminary results from the observations with the Imaging Vector Magnetograph at Mees Solar Observatory. The IVM was operated in a standard mode, except that the spectral scan was limited to one point in the core of H-alpha and one in the blue wing. This limited spectral sampling, together with a recently upgraded data acquisition system, permitted a complete measurement of Stokes vectors every 3.5 seconds. The field of view was 280 arc sec square, with one arc sec pixels. A second camera, exposed simultaneously but with a broad-band filter, provides images which allow compensation for relative image motion and stretch between exposures.

Approximately two dozen flares were observed by the IVM during the campaign, including one X-class and one M-class flare. We present samples of the observations, including relevant spacecraft observations, and discuss the sensitivity of the IVM to linear polarization under these conditions.

This work was supported in part by the SXT project at LMSAL (contract NAS5-38099) and by NASA grant NAG5-4941.

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