AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Solar Data in the J and H Bands (Abstract)

Volume 45 number 1 (2017)

Rodney Howe
3343 Riva Ridge Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80526; ahowe@frii.com


(Abstract only) Early work of stellar astronomers established the nomenclature for the infrared wavelength bands in the 1,000 to 5,000 nm range known as J, H, K, L, and M. This study is using the AAVSO SSP-4 photometer to collect solar data in the J and H bands, where the central wavelengths of these bands are roughly 1,300 nm for the J, and 1,600 nm for the H band. The continuum radiation from the sun is formed at the deepest level in the sun around 40 km from the surface at 1,600 nm (H band), and then the spectral continuum begins as the height increases with increasing wavelength in the infrared spectrum. From data collected here the H band has slightly larger values than the J band, however, there are distinct cross-overs on different days of observing. The telescope being used is a 60-mm LUNT, a blocking factor of 12 with a tilt-etalon filter (https://luntsolarsystems.com/product/ls60tds/) which can be adjusted to look at “white light”; and in that configuration the SSP-4 photometer captures the sun’s disc centered in the SSP-4 eyepiece (1 inch focal length ~ 25.4 mm). The Orion equatorial mount has an Astro-view Right Accession motor, which tracks the sun, and for an average data capture session of about 10 minutes, it is quite stable. Capturing data in the early morning is best as the weight of the SSP-4 helps the little RA motor rather than in the afternoon when the balance would be against the direction of the earth’s rotation.