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

AuthorStenborg, Guillermo; Howard, Russell;
Keywordsmethods: data analysis; parker solar probe; Solar Probe Plus; Sun: corona; Sun: coronal mass ejections: CMEs; techniques: image processing

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.

Year of Publication2017
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Number of Pages68
Date Published04/2017