Continuum Polarization and Blend Lines in the Solar Spectrum
We present results of a theoretical study of the continuum polarization due to radiative scattering and of depolarizing blend lines in the visible solar spectrum. A simple analytical function that approximates the center-to-limb variation of the theoretical continuum polarization for every wavelength in the visible is presented. Its formulation has been guided by the assumption that the scattering layer producing the polarization is optically thin and lies above the layer of formation of the continuum intensity. Although this assumption is not strictly valid, the analytical representation is accurate enough for all practical purposes.
The shapes of depolarizing blend lines in the intensity spectrum are compared with their shapes in the polarization spectrum. The calculations suggest a direct proportionality between the corresponding line profiles.
Key wordspolarization radiative transfer scattering Sun: atmosphere Sun: photosphere
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