, Volume 162, Issue 1-2, pp 357-402

The Large Angle Spectroscopic Coronagraph (LASCO)

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The Large Angle Spectroscopic Coronagraph (LASCO) is a three coronagraph package which has been jointly developed for the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) mission by the Naval Research Laboratory (USA), the Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale (France), the Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie (Germany), and the University of Birmingham (UK). LASCO comprises three coronagraphs, C1, C2, and C3, that together image the solar corona from 1.1 to 30 R (C1: 1.1 – 3 R, C2: 1.5 – 6 R, and C3: 3.7 – 30 R). The C1 coronagraph is a newly developed mirror version of the classic internally-occulted Lyot coronagraph, while the C2 and C3 coronagraphs are externally occulted instruments. High-resolution imaging spectroscopy of the corona from 1.1 to 3 R can be performed with the Fabry-Perot interferometer in C1. High-volume memories and a high-speed microprocessor enable extensive on-board image processing. Image compression by a factor of about 10 will result in the transmission of 10 full images per hour.