Solar Physics

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 29–41 | Cite as

Polarized light, magnetographs, and solar magnetic fields

  • Charles L. Hyder


Analysis of the effects of polarization in lines used in longitudinal (Babcock) and transverse (Severny) magnetographs shows that previous straightforward analyses of observations may lead to spurious results.

Measures of the longitudinal magnetic-field strengths in prominences and in the chromosphere have been underestimated by more than 10% whenever the measured field has been less than 10 gauss.

Transverse magnetograph results are subject to resonance polarization effects that may dominate the magnetic signal.

The panchromatic transverse magnetograph results discussed by Dollfus and Leroy are based solely on curve of growth polarization interpretations. Again, except within a few degrees of the center of the disk, resonance polarization effects can dominate, and radically change, the interpretations of the observations.


Magnetic Field Measured Field Polarization Effect Magnetic Signal Solar Magnetic Field 


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles L. Hyder
    • 1
  1. 1.Sacramento Peak Observatory, Air Force Cambridge Research LaboratoriesSunspotUSA

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