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      Image Quality in High-resolution and High-cadence Solar Imaging

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          Abstract

          Broad-band imaging and even imaging with a moderate bandpass (about 1 nm) provides a "photon-rich" environment, where frame selection ("lucky imaging") becomes a helpful tool in image restoration allowing us to perform a cost-benefit analysis on how to design observing sequences for high-spatial resolution imaging in combination with real-time correction provided by an adaptive optics (AO) system. This study presents high-cadence (160 Hz) G-band and blue continuum image sequences obtained with the High-resolution Fast Imager (HiFI) at the 1.5-meter GREGOR solar telescope, where the speckle masking technique is used to restore images with nearly diffraction-limited resolution. HiFI employs two synchronized large-format and high-cadence sCMOS detectors. The Median Filter Gradient Similarity (MFGS) image quality metric is applied, among others, to AO-corrected image sequences of a pore and a small sunspot observed on 2017 June 4 and 5. A small region-of-interest, which was selected for fast imaging performance, covered these contrast-rich features and their neighborhood, which were part of active region NOAA 12661. Modifications of the MFGS algorithm uncover the field- and structure-dependency of this image quality metric. However, MFGS still remains a good choice for determining image quality without a priori knowledge, which is an important characteristic when classifying the huge number of high-resolution images contained in data archives. In addition, this investigation demonstrates that a fast cadence and millisecond exposure times are still insufficient to reach the coherence time of daytime seeing. Nonetheless, the analysis shows that data acquisition rates exceeding 50 Hz are required to capture a substantial fraction of the best seeing moments, significantly boosting the performance of post-facto image restoration.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Dark cores in sunspot penumbral filaments.

          Sunspot umbrae--the dark central regions of the spots--are surrounded by brighter filamentary penumbrae, the existence of which remains largely inexplicable. The penumbral filaments contain magnetic fields with varying inclinations and are associated with flowing gas, but discriminating between theoretical models has been difficult because the structure of the filaments has not hitherto been resolved. Here we report observations of penumbral filaments that reveal dark cores inside them. We cannot determine the nature of these dark cores, but their very existence provides a crucial test for any model of penumbrae. Our images also reveal other very small structures, in line with the view that many of the fundamental physical processes in the solar photosphere occur on scales smaller than 100 km.
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            Image reconstruction by the speckle-masking method

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              Field-Dependent Adaptive Optics Correction Derived with the Spectral Ratio Technique

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                02 February 2018
                Article
                1802.00760

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                26 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in Solar Physics
                astro-ph.SR

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