FESTIVAL: A Multiscale Visualization Tool for Solar Imaging Data

TitleFESTIVAL: A Multiscale Visualization Tool for Solar Imaging Data
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsAuchère, F., Soubrie E., Bocchialini K., and Legall F.
JournalSolar Physics
Date PublishedApr

Since 4 December 2006, the SECCHI instrument suites onboard the two STEREO A and B probes have been imaging the solar corona and the heliosphere on a wide range of angular scales. The EUVI telescopes have a plate scale of 1.7 arcseconds pixel$^{-1}$, while that of the HI2 wide-angle cameras is 2.15 arcminutes pixel$^{-1}$, i.e. 75 times larger, with the COR1 and COR2 coronagraphs having intermediate plate scales. These very different instruments, aimed at studying Coronal Mass Ejections and their propagation in the heliosphere, create a data visualization challenge. This paper presents FESTIVAL, a SolarSoftware package originally developed to be able to map the SECCHI data into dynamic composite images of the sky as seen by the STEREO and SOHO probes. Data from other imaging instruments can also be displayed. Using the mouse, the user can quickly and easily zoom in and out and pan through these composite images to explore all spatial scales from EUVI to HI2 while keeping the native resolution of the original data. A large variety of numerical filters can be applied, and additional data ( i.e. coordinate grids, stars catalogs, etc.) can be overlaid on the images. The architecture of FESTIVAL is such that it is easy to add support for other instruments and these new data immediately benefit from the already existing capabilities. Also, because its mapping engine is fully 3D, FESTIVAL provides a convenient environment to display images from future out-of-the-Ecliptic solar missions, such as Solar Orbiter or Solar Probe.