Large-scale Spatial Cross-calibration of Hinode/SOT-SP and SDO/HMI

David F. Fouhey, Richard E.L. Higgins, Spiro K. Antiochos, Graham Barnes, Marc L. DeRosa, J. Todd Hoeksema, K. D. Leka, Yang Liu, Peter W. Schuck, Tamas I. Gombosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the cross-calibration of the Hinode/Solar Optical Telescope-Spectro-Polarimeter (SOT-SP) and Solar Dynamics Observatory/Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (SDO/HMI) instrument metadata, specifically the correspondence of the scaling and pointing information. Accurate calibration of these data sets gives the correspondence needed by interinstrument studies and learning-based magnetogram systems, and is required for physically meaningful photospheric magnetic field vectors. We approach the problem by robustly fitting geometric models on correspondences between images from each instrument’s pipeline. This technique is common in computer vision, but several critical details are required when using scanning-slit spectrograph data like Hinode/SOT-SP. We apply this technique to data spanning a decade of the Hinode mission. Our results suggest corrections to the published Level 2 Hinode/SOT-SP data. First, an analysis on approximately 2700 scans suggests that the reported pixel size in Hinode/SOT-SP Level 2 data is incorrect by around 1%. Second, analysis of over 12,000 scans shows that the pointing information is often incorrect by dozens of arcseconds with a strong bias. Regression of these corrections indicates that thermal effects have caused secular and cyclic drift in Hinode/SOT-SP pointing data over its mission. We offer two solutions. First, direct coalignment with SDO/HMI data via our procedure can improve alignments for many Hinode/SOT-SP scans. Second, since the pointing errors are predictable, simple post-hoc corrections can substantially improve the pointing. We conclude by illustrating the impact of this updated calibration on derived physical data products needed for research and interpretation. Among other things, our results suggest that the pointing errors induce a hemispheric bias in estimates of radial current density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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