Volume 561, January 2014
|Number of page(s)||23|
|Published online||18 December 2013|
Point spread function of SDO/HMI and the effects of stray light correction on the apparent properties of solar surface phenomena
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Max-Planck-Straße 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
2 Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institut für Geophysik und Extraterrestrische Physik, Mendelssohnstraße 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
3 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, 446-701 Gyeonggi, Korea
4 W.W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-4085, USA
Received: 19 August 2013
Accepted: 15 October 2013
Aims. We present a point spread function (PSF) for the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and discuss the effects of its removal on the apparent properties of solar surface phenomena in HMI data.
Methods. The PSF was retrieved from observations of Venus in transit by matching it to the convolution of a model of the Venusian disc and solar background with a guess PSF. We described the PSF as the sum of five Gaussian functions, the amplitudes of which vary sinusoidally with azimuth. This relatively complex functional form was required by the data. Observations recorded near in time to the transit of Venus were corrected for instrumental scattered light by the deconvolution with the PSF. We also examined the variation in the shape of the solar aureole in daily data, as an indication of PSF changes over time.
Results. Granulation contrast in restored HMI data is greatly enhanced relative to the original data and exhibit reasonable agreement with numerical simulations. Image restoration enhanced the apparent intensity and pixel averaged magnetic field strength of photospheric magnetic features significantly. For small-scale magnetic features, restoration enhanced intensity contrast in the continuum and core of the Fe I 6173 Å line by a factor of 1.3, and the magnetogram signal by a factor of 1.7. For sunspots and pores, the enhancement varied strongly within and between features, being more acute for smaller features. Magnetic features are also rendered smaller, as signal smeared onto the surrounding quiet Sun is recovered. Image restoration increased the apparent amount of magnetic flux above the noise floor by a factor of about 1.2, most of the gain coming from the quiet Sun. Line-of-sight velocity due to granulation and supergranulation is enhanced by a factor of 1.4 to 2.1, depending on position on the solar disc. The shape of the solar aureole varied, with time and between the two CCDs. There are also indications that the PSF varies across the FOV. However, all these variations were found to be relatively small, such that a single PSF can be applied to HMI data from both CCDs, over the period examined without introducing significant error.
Conclusions. Restoring HMI observations with the PSF presented here returns a reasonable estimate of the stray light-free intensity contrast. Image restoration affects the measured radiant, magnetic and dynamic properties of solar surface phenomena sufficiently to significantly impact interpretation.
Key words: instrumentation: miscellaneous / space vehicles: instruments / Sun: faculae, plages / Sun: granulation / Sun: photosphere / sunspots
© ESO, 2013
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