Friday, June 14, 2013

1306.3204 (Alexandre Humberto Andrei et al.)

The Heliometer of Rio de Janeiro in Operation - 2010 to 2013    [PDF]

Alexandre Humberto Andrei, Costantino Sigismondi, Eugenio Reis-Neto, Jucira Lousada Penna, Sergio Calderari Boscardin
Out of the three quantities that characterize the state of an isolated gaseous body: pressure, temperature and volume the radius is the only one directly measurable for the Sun, what is specially true in the optical window and for ground base measurements. The Heliometer of Observatorio Nacional, in Rio de Janeiro, measures the distance between two opposite limbs of the Sun in the same field of view, through the reflection on a 10 cm parabolic mirror split on its half and forming an appropriate angle. This configuration is free from optical aberrations and focal variations along the measurement direction. The mirrors are made on CCZ vitro-ceramic and the telescope structure is of carbon steel, resulting that there is no flexion or temperature deformation. The instrument is compact, and can perform hundreds of measurements per duty day, around all heliolatitudes. It attains an accuracy on the solar radius of 0.01 arcsec, becoming the ideal instrument to monitor from the ground the solar diameter, and to bridge satellites and astrolabes historical series of data. We discuss the first years of regular observation, with emphasis on the instrumental calibrations and on the statistic study of the derived time series, attitude series, and solar geometry series. On basis of these series we obtain how well the Heliometer and Solar Astrolabe results are matched.
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