By Donald E. Billings
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Additional resources for A Guide to the Solar Corona
The grating is mounted on a turret that can be turned to change the wavelength range of the light that passes through the remainder of the spectrograph, or turned farther to replace the grating by either of two other gratings that are mounted on the turret. 5 A/mm. Several special provisions are made for fast and convenient study of the spectrum of the corona. The slit of the spectrograph is curved so that the B. Coronagraphy 33 spectrum of almost 90° of solar limb can be observed with a single slit position.
In present operation the lower limit is raised by a yellow filter to exclude the green coronal line. The resulting effective band is only a few hundred angstroms wide. In the course of a scan around the solar limb, which requires about four minutes, both the AC and DC output of the photomultiplier tube are recorded automatically. The reduction of these data to polarization as a function of position angle, involving the elimination of the sky polarization, is quite a tedious process, however, and is conveniently carried out as an electronic-computer operation.
Of these, the photographic method has been useful primarily wTith rockets, because the film must generally be recovered. Since techniques for returning satellites have now been developed, however, the use of photography in orbit may be increasingly important. In space probes the use of photography requires the automatic development and analysis of the photographs, and the telemetry of the data, as used by the Soviets in the study of the far side of the moon. Such techniques might be desirable for recording the entire X-ray spectrum of a flare not visible from the earth, but for most space-probe studies of solar X rays, photography is an unnecessarily difficult technique.
A Guide to the Solar Corona by Donald E. Billings