SITESSolar Iterative Temperature Emission Solver for Differential Emission Measure Inversion of EUV Observations

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalSolar Physics
Early online date01 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 01 Oct 2019
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Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) images of the optically-thin solar corona in multiple spectral channels give information on the emission as a function of temperature through differential emission measure (DEM) inversions. The aim of this paper is to describe, test, and apply a new DEM method named the Solar Iterative Temperature Emission Solver (SITES). The method creates an initial DEM estimate through a direct redistribution of observed intensities across temperatures according to the temperature response function of the measurement, and iteratively improves on this estimate through calculation of intensity residuals. It is simple in concept and implementation, is non-subjective in the sense that no prior constraints are placed on the solutions other than positivity and smoothness, and can process a thousand DEMs a second on a standard desktop computer. The resulting DEMs replicate model DEMs well in tests on Atmospheric Imaging Assembly/Solar Dynamics Observatory (AIA/SDO) synthetic data. The same tests show that SITES performs less well on very narrow DEM peaks, and should not be used for temperature diagnostics below ≈0.5 MK in the case of AIA observations. The SITES accuracy of inversion compares well with two other established methods. A simple yet powerful new method to visualize DEM maps is introduced, based on a fractional emission measure (FEM). Applied to a set of AIA full-disk images, the SITES method and FEM visualization show very effectively the dominance of certain temperature regimes in different large-scale coronal structures. The method can easily be adapted for any multi-channel observations of optically-thin plasma and, given its simplicity and efficiency, will facilitate the processing of large existing and future datasets


  • image processing, Corona