The Joint Organization for Solar Observations (JOSO), a consortium of European solar astronomers, has initiated a new project: the coordination of polarimetric observations of the solar corona across Europe and the Middle East during the 1999 August 11 total solar eclipse.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
First, those who are already preparing a polarimetric experiment are invited to join the project, to extend the significance of their work. In addition, anyone who is willing to undertake this kind of scientific experiment is also welcome. This includes experienced amateur eclipse chasers as well as professional teams, or even a mix of both.
WHAT IS THE EXPECTED SCIENTIFIC RETURN?
Combining many observing stations basically means increasing the number of good data sets acquired under clear skies (which we wish to everybody!). Moreover, as the stations will be distributed along the totality band, the time differences between observations (up to 1 h 30 min) will allow coronal dynamics studies by tracking any change in the images over much longer durations than the 2-min totality experienced at a single location (3-D reconstruction by solar rotation, coronal mass ejections, flow speeds, etc.).
WHAT ARE THE BASIC INSTRUMENTAL REQUIREMENTS?
In order to keep the equipment simple, inexpensive and thus accessible to anyone, and also to ensure some homogeneity of the various data, some prerequisites have been defined:
Detector : black & white photography, CCD camera Bandpass : white-light, broadband Field of view : 1.0-1.15 to 2.5-4.0 solar radii Spatial resolution : 10 arcsec or better Polarimetry : linear polarization filter on an indexed rotating mount (minimum of 3 positions 60 degrees apart)
Very high-resolution images in unpolarized (total) intensity with the same spatial coverage can also be included. Other ideas and suggestions are welcome ...
WHAT KIND OF HELP WILL BE PROVIDED BY JOSO?
JOSO will act as an information "node" for network coordination: - Practical help: - forwarding contact requests to the appropriate people - searches for an observing site - support for custom clearance (intercession with local authorities) - Technical advice: observing tips, instrument design, equipment suppliers.
JOSO will prompt the formation of a professional data analysis group, on a voluntary basis, as only the subsequent interpretation and publication of the data will make the whole TECONet concept meaningful.
However, JOSO cannot provide funding or equipment to participating teams, except for polarizer sheet filters, when necessary, and rolls of film (with laboratory calibration pre-exposures).
If you are eager to contribute scientifically useful data at the occasion of this rather unique event in the context of an international collaboration, you can get additional information by visiting the JOSO eclipse Web pages, which are under development:
or, by contacting the TECONEt 99 coordinator :
JOSO "Eclipse 99" Working Group
Observatoire Royal de Belgique
Avenue Circulaire, 3
B-1180 Bruxelles, Belgium
Tel. : ../32/2/373.02.33
Fax : ../32/2/373.02.24
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail : ( email@example.com ).
Eclipse Preditions & Webmaster: Fred Espenak
Planteary Systems Laboratory - Code 693
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA