First observations of the second solar spectrum with spatial resolution at the Lunette Jean Rösch*
LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Section de Meudon, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France e-mail: email@example.com
2 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire Midi Pyrénées, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
3 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire Midi Pyrénées, 57 avenue d'Azereix, PB 826, 65008 Tarbes Cedex, France
Accepted: 28 September 2006
Context.A new polarimeter has been installed at the focus of the 50 cm refractor of the Lunette Jean Rösch (LJR), previously known as Turret Dome, Pic du Midi, France, for spectroscopic observations of weak solar magnetic fields. Fields can be derived through the Hanle effect from the depolarization of the second solar spectrum (i.e. the linearly polarized spectrum at the limb).
Aims.We present the first observations with spatial resolution based on the new device performed with the large 8 m Echelle spectrograph, or recorded in imagery mode through narrow band filters. The observations started in April 2004, especially in the blue part of the spectrum where our instrumentation has a particularly good efficiency. The capabilities and the characteristics of the new instrument are briefly described. We observed several lines of the second solar spectrum with the slit of the spectrograph orthogonal to the limb to study the polarization as a function of limb distance (which is related to altitude in the atmosphere), and several spectral windows in imagery to determine the average continuum polarization.
Methods.The polarimeter uses Nematic Liquid Crystal (NLC) technology at the primary focus of the refractor, in spectroscopic or imagery mode.
Results.A continuous polarization profile through the limb is presented for the photospheric SrI 460.7 nm line, the low chromospheric BaII 455.4 nm line, and the CaI 422.7 nm line within a distance of 120´´, together with measurements of the mean continuum polarization obtained in imagery mode. Preliminary results of the polarization of the SrI 460.7 nm line are also shown at 40´´ from the limb, as a function of the brightness of structures visible in the continuum (granulation). They reveal a tendency for the polarization to be weaker in dark features (intergranules) than in bright ones (granules), suggesting a stronger magnetic field in intergranular lanes. As example the enigmatic and weak polarization signal in the core of the NaD1 589.6 nm line is presented.
Conclusions.Some aspects of the spatial variation of the polarization with respect to the granulation pattern require further investigation at higher spatial resolution.
Key words: polarization / instrumentation: polarimeters / instrumentation: spectrographs / Sun: photosphere / Sun: chromosphere / Sun: magnetic fields
© ESO, 2007