Comparison of Line-of-Sight Magnetograms Taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory/Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager and Solar and Heliospheric Observatory/Michelson Doppler Imager

Research paper by Y. Liu, J. T. Hoeksema, P. H. Scherrer, J. Schou, S. Couvidat, R. I. Bush, T. L. Duvall, K. Hayashi, X. Sun, X. Zhao

Indexed on: 06 Apr '12Published on: 06 Apr '12Published in: Solar Physics


We compare line-of-sight magnetograms from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). The line-of-sight magnetic signal inferred from the calibrated MDI data is greater than that derived from the HMI data by a factor of 1.40. This factor varies somewhat with center-to-limb distance. An upper bound to the random noise for the 1′′ resolution HMI 720-second magnetograms is 6.3 Mx cm−2, and 10.2 Mx cm−2 for the 45-second magnetograms. Virtually no p-mode leakage is seen in the HMI magnetograms, but it is significant in the MDI magnetograms. 12-hour and 24-hour periodicities are detected in strong fields in the HMI magnetograms. The newly calibrated MDI full-disk magnetograms have been corrected for the zero-point offset and underestimation of the flux density. The noise is 26.4 Mx cm−2 for the MDI one-minute full-disk magnetograms and 16.2 Mx cm−2 for the five-minute full-disk magnetograms observed with four-arcsecond resolution. The variation of the noise over the Sun’s disk found in MDI magnetograms is likely due to the different optical distortions in the left- and right-circular analyzers, which allows the granulation and p-mode to leak in as noise. Saturation sometimes seen in sunspot umbrae in MDI magnetograms is caused by the low intensity and the limitation of the onboard computation. The noise in the HMI and MDI line-of-sight magnetic-field synoptic charts appears to be fairly uniform over the entire map. The noise is 2.3 Mx cm−2 for HMI charts and 5.0 Mx cm−2 for MDI charts. No evident periodicity is found in the HMI synoptic charts.