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A Unique Coronal Multi-Channel Polarimeter at the Lomnický Štít Observatory

A new instrument for exploring the Sun, the Coronal Multi-Channel Polarimeter (CoMP), was put into operation at the Lomnický Štít Observatory on June 22, 2011. The three partners of the "Centre of Space Research: Space Weather Influences", the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Experimental Physics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, got from the structural funds of the EU an instrument whose value is 625 256 EUR and which can measure magnetic and velocity fields of the solar corona.

The CoMP is a unique device, one of two such instruments in the world and the only one in Europe, developed and manufactured for Slovakia by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, USA. The heart of this instrument is a narrow pass-band tunable filter that measures the polarization of passing electromagnetic radiation, from which the strength of coronal magnetic fields can be inferred. It is equipped with a couple of Hi-Tech CMOS cameras with a minimum thermal noise for image recording.

The official opening ceremony/event was attended by Mr. Jaroslav Ivančo, the state secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, Mrs. Alexandra Drgová, the general director of the Agency for Structural Funds of the EU of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, Mr. Ladislav Mirossay, the chancellor of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Mr. Aleš Kučera, the director of the Astronomical institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Mr. Ján Svoreň, the head of the project, Mr. Karel Kudela and Mr. Štefan Parimucha, the representatives of the partners and a large number of press people.



Fig. 1 - The CoMP instrument attached to the coronagraph of the observatory of the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences at Lomnický Štít.


Fig. 2 – An opening address by Mr. Jaroslav Ivančo, the state secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. (Left to right: A. Drgová, J. Ivančo a J. Svoreň.)


Fig. 3. Mr. Aleš Kučera, the director of the Astronomical institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, when describing the new instrument. (Left to right: Š. Parimucha, J. Slivenský TA3, A. Drgová, J. Ivančo, J. Svoreň, L. Mirossay and A. Kučera.)


Fig. 4. The instrument was of great interest to the press people as well.

 

For more information about the instrument please follow this link:
http://www.astro.sk/LSO/COMP-S/

 

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