SWAP observations of the long-term, large-scale evolution of the extreme-ultraviolet solar corona
Publication date: 01 November 2013
Authors: Seaton, D. B., et al.
Journal: The Astrophysical Journal
Copyright: IOP Publishing
The Sun Watcher with Active Pixels and Image Processing (SWAP) EUV solar telescope on board the Project for On-Board Autonomy 2 spacecraft has been regularly observing the solar corona in a bandpass near 17.4 nm since 2010 February. With a field of view of 54 × 54 arcmin, SWAP provides the widest-field images of the EUV corona available from the perspective of the Earth. By carefully processing and combining multiple SWAP images, it is possible to produce low-noise composites that reveal the structure of the EUV corona to relatively large heights. A particularly important step in this processing was to remove instrumental stray light from the images by determining and deconvolving SWAP's point-spread function from the observations. In this paper, we use the resulting images to conduct the first-ever study of the evolution of the large-scale structure of the corona observed in the EUV over a three year period that includes the complete rise phase of solar cycle 24. Of particular note is the persistence over many solar rotations of bright, diffuse features composed of open magnetic fields that overlie polar crown filaments and extend to large heights above the solar surface. These features appear to be related to coronal fans, which have previously been observed in white-light coronagraph images and, at low heights, in the EUV. We also discuss the evolution of the corona at different heights above the solar surface and the evolution of the corona over the course of the solar cycle by hemisphere.Link to publication