The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS)
The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) small explorer spacecraft provides simultaneous spectra and images of the photosphere, chromosphere, transition region, and corona with 0.33 - 0.4 arcsec spatial resolution, two-second temporal resolution, and 1 km s−1 velocity resolution over a field-of-view of up to 175 arcsec × 175 arcsec. IRIS was launched into a Sun-synchronous orbit on 27 June 2013 using a Pegasus-XL rocket and consists of a 19-cm UV telescope that feeds a slit-based dual-bandpass imaging spectrograph. IRIS obtains spectra in passbands from 1332 - 1358 Å, 1389 - 1407 Å, and 2783 - 2834 Å, including bright spectral lines formed in the chromosphere (Mg II h 2803 Å and Mg II k 2796 Å) and transition region (C II 1334/1335 Å and Si IV 1394/1403 Å). Slit-jaw images in four different passbands (C II 1330, Si IV 1400, Mg II k 2796, and Mg II wing 2830 Å) can be taken simultaneously with spectral rasters that sample regions up to 130 arcsec × 175 arcsec at a variety of spatial samplings (from 0.33 arcsec and up). IRIS is sensitive to emission from plasma at temperatures between 5000 K and 10 MK and will advance our understanding of the flow of mass and energy through an interface region, formed by the chromosphere and transition region, between the photosphere and corona. This highly structured and dynamic region not only acts as the conduit of all mass and energy feeding into the corona and solar wind, it also requires an order of magnitude more energy to heat than the corona and solar wind combined. The IRIS investigation includes a strong numerical modeling component based on advanced radiative-MHD codes to facilitate interpretation of observations of this complex region. Approximately eight Gbytes of data (after compression) are acquired by IRIS each day and made available for unrestricted use within a few days of the observation.
- Pub Date:
- July 2014
- Magnetic fields;
- Instrumentation and data management;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 53 pages, 15 figures