Volume 626, June 2019
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Published online||12 June 2019|
Is the sky the limit?
Performance of the revamped Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope and its blue- and red-beam reimaging systems
Institute for Solar Physics, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Center, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
2 Stockholm Observatory, Dept. of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Center, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
3 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Box 50005, 104 05 Stockholm, Sweden
Accepted: 13 May 2019
We discuss the use of measurements of the solar granulation contrast as a measure of optical quality. We demonstrate that for data recorded with a telescope that uses adaptive optics and/or post-processing to compensate for many low- and high-order aberrations, the RMS granulation contrast is directly proportional to the Strehl ratio calculated from the residual (small-scale) wavefront error (static and/or from seeing). We demonstrate that the wings of the high-order compensated point spread function for the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST) are likely to extend to a radius of not more than about 2″, which is consistent with earlier conclusions drawn from stray-light compensation of sunspot images. We report on simultaneous measurements of seeing and solar granulation contrast averaged over 2 s time intervals at several wavelengths from 525 nm to 853.6 nm on the red-beam (CRISP beam) and wavelengths from 395 nm to 484 nm on the blue-beam (CHROMIS beam). These data were recorded with the SST, which has been revamped with an 85-electrode adaptive mirror and a new tip-tilt mirror, both of which were polished to exceptionally high optical quality. Compared to similar data obtained with the previous 37-electrode adaptive mirror in 2009 and 2011, there is a significant improvement in image contrast. The highest 2 s average image contrasts measured in April 2015 through 0.3−0.9 nm interference filters at 525 nm, 557 nm, 630 nm, and 853.5 nm with compensation only for the diffraction limited point spread function of SST are 11.8%, 11.8%, 10.2%, and 7.2%, respectively. Similarly, the highest 2 s contrasts measured at 395 nm, 400 nm, and 484 nm in May 2016 through 0.37−1.3 nm filters are 16%, 16%, and 12.5%, respectively. The granulation contrast observed with SST compares favorably to measured values with SOT on Hinode and with Sunrise as well as major ground-based solar telescopes. Simultaneously with the above wideband red-beam data, we also recorded narrowband continuum images with the CRISP imaging spectropolarimeter. We find that contrasts measured with CRISP are entirely consistent with the corresponding wideband contrasts, demonstrating that any additional image degradation by the CRISP etalons and telecentric optical system is marginal or even insignificant. Finally, we discuss the origin of the 48 nm RMS wavefront error needed to bring consistency between the measured granulation contrast and that obtained from 3D simulations of convection.
Key words: convection / instrumentation: adaptive optics / methods: observational / techniques: image processing / techniques: high angular resolution / site testing
© ESO 2019
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