Analysis of full disc Ca II K spectroheliograms
I. Photometric calibration and centre-to-limb variation compensation
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, 00078 Monte Porzio Catone, Italy
3 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 446-701, Republic of Korea
Received: 5 July 2017
Accepted: 6 September 2017
Context. Historical Ca II K spectroheliograms (SHG) are unique in representing long-term variations of the solar chromospheric magnetic field. They usually suffer from numerous problems and lack photometric calibration. Thus accurate processing of these data is required to get meaningful results from their analysis.
Aims. In this paper we aim at developing an automatic processing and photometric calibration method that provides precise and consistent results when applied to historical SHG.
Methods. The proposed method is based on the assumption that the centre-to-limb variation of the intensity in quiet Sun regions does not vary with time. We tested the accuracy of the proposed method on various sets of synthetic images that mimic problems encountered in historical observations. We also tested our approach on a large sample of images randomly extracted from seven different SHG archives.
Results. The tests carried out on the synthetic data show that the maximum relative errors of the method are generally <6.5%, while the average error is <1%, even if rather poor quality observations are considered. In the absence of strong artefacts the method returns images that differ from the ideal ones by <2% in any pixel. The method gives consistent values for both plage and network areas. We also show that our method returns consistent results for images from different SHG archives.
Conclusions. Our tests show that the proposed method is more accurate than other methods presented in the literature. Our method can also be applied to process images from photographic archives of solar observations at other wavelengths than Ca II K.
Key words: Sun: activity / Sun: chromosphere / Sun: faculae, plages / techniques: image processing
© ESO, 2018