Balloon-Borne Polarimetry


For about two weeks in 1995, the balloon-borne Flare Genesis Experiment will continuously observe the Sun well above the turbulent, image-blurring layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. The polarization-free 80 cm telescope will supply images to a liquid-crystal based vector magnetograph, which will measure magnetic features at a resolution of 0.2 arcsec. An electrically tunable lithium-niobate Fabry-Perot provides a spectral resolution of about 0.015 nm. In a follow-up series of Antarctic balloon flights, the Flare Genesis Experiment (FGE) will provide unprecedented details about sunspots, flares, magnetic elements, filaments, and the quiet solar atmosphere.

Solar Physics