A Heuristic Approach to Remove the Background Intensity on White-light Solar Images. I. <i>STEREO</i> /HI-1 Heliospheric Images

<p>White-light coronal and heliospheric imagers observe scattering of photospheric light from both dust particles (the F-Corona) and free electrons in the corona (the K-corona). The separation of the two coronae is thus vitally important to reveal the faint K-coronal structures (e.g., streamers, co-rotating interaction regions, coronal mass ejections, etc.). However, the separation of the two coronae is very difficult, so we are content in defining a background corona that contains the F- and as little K- as possible. For both the LASCO-C2 and LASCO-C3 coronagraphs aboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the white-light imagers of the SECCHI suite aboard the Solar Terrestrial Relationships Observatory (STEREO), a time-dependent model of the background corona is generated from about a month of similar images. The creation of such models is possible because the missions carrying these instruments are orbiting the Sun at about 1 au. However, the orbit profiles for the upcoming Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus missions are very different. These missions will have elliptic orbits with a rapidly changing radial distance, hence invalidating the techniques in use for the SOHO/LASCO and STEREO/SECCHI instruments. We have been investigating techniques to generate background models out of just single images that could be used for the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager and the Wide-field Imager for the Solar Probe Plus packages on board the respective spacecraft. In this paper, we introduce a state-of-the-art, heuristic technique to create the background intensity models of STEREO/HI-1 data based solely on individual images, report on new results derived from its application, and discuss its relevance to instrumental and operational issues.</p>
Year of Publication
The Astrophysical Journal
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Date Published