MLSO Instruments

K-Cor Schematic

The K-Cor coronagraph has been specifically designed to study the formation and dynamics of coronal mass ejections and the evolution of the density structure of the low corona.

CoMP from top of spar

The CoMP instrument can observe the coronal magnetic field with a full FOV in the low corona (~1.03 to 1.5 Rsun), as well as obtain information about the plasma density and motion.

PSPT filter

The Precision Solar Photometric Telescope (PSPT) is the centerpiece of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Radiative Inputs from Sun to Earth (RISE) program whose aim is to measure and understand variability in the solar radiative output.

CHIP on spar

CHIP is a differential device using properties of the Helium-I line at 1083 nm as an indicator of both chromospheric and coronal structures.

PICS on spar

PICS took images of the solar disk and limb in H-alpha (656.3nm) from 1997 until 2010, when it was decommissioned. A Coronado SolarMax telescope provided H-alpha from 2010-2011. Currently, our H-alpha images are provided by the GONG Network.

Mk3 on the spar

The Mark-III instrument was the third generation white light K-coronameter instrument at MLSO, and it operated from 4 February, 1980 through 1999. Mk4 built upon this success and operated from 1999 well into 2013.

The SMM Coronagraph/Polarimeter

The Coronagraph/Polarimeter (C/P) aboard the SMM satellite was provided by HAO to study the relationship of the corona to the flare process. The C/P used an arrangement of multiple internal and external occulting discs to block out the direct light from the Sun's photosphere, thereby permitting the faint light of the Sun's outer corona to be recorded.

Mk2 Coronameter

The second K-coronameter developed by the High Altitude Observatory was known as the Coronal Activity Monitor and was later known as Mk II. The design drew heavily from the Mk I K-coronameter. Like the Mk I, Mk II provided 360 degree scans of polarization brightness at different heights. In addition it could provide rapid scans in a smaller area to detect CMEs.

Mk1 Coronameter

The MK I K-coronameter was the first instrument to observe the white light corona outside of a total solar eclipse. It recorded scans of the polarization brightness (pB) of the Thomson scattered K-Corona continuum emission at three heights between 1.12 and 2 solar radii.