Abstract

Context. Narrowband imaging spectropolarimetry is one of the most powerful tools available to infer information about the intensity and topology of the magnetic fields present in extended plasma structures in the solar atmosphere.Aims. We describe the instrumental set-up and the observing procedure that we have developed and optimized at the Istituto Ricerche Solari Locarno in order to perform imaging spectropolarimetry. A measurement that highlights the potential of the ensuing observations for magnetic field diagnostics in solar prominences is presented.Methods. Monochromatic images of solar prominences were obtained by combining a tunable narrowband filter, based on two Fabry-Perot etalons, with a Czerny-Turner spectrograph. Linear and circular polarization were measured at every pixel of the monochromatic image with the Zurich Imaging Polarimeter, ZIMPOL. A wavelength scan was performed across the profile of the considered spectral line. The HAZEL inversion code was applied to the observed Stokes profiles to infer a series of physical properties of the observed structure.Results. We carried out a spectropolarimetric observation of a prominence, consisting of a set of quasi-monochromatic images across the HeI D-3 line at 5876 angstrom in the four Stokes parameters. The map of observed Stokes profiles was inverted with HAZEL, finding magnetic fields with intensities between 15 and 30 G and directed along the spine of the prominence, which is in agreement with the results of previous works.

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