130 years of spectroheliograms at Paris-Meudon observatories (1892-2022) - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Reports Year : 2023

130 years of spectroheliograms at Paris-Meudon observatories (1892-2022)

Jean-Marie Malherbe


Broad-band observations of the solar photosphere began in Meudon in 1875 under the auspices of Jules Janssen. For his part, Henri Deslandres initiated imaging spectroscopy in 1892 at Paris observatory. He invented, concurrently with George Hale in Kenwood (USA) but quite independently, the spectroheliograph designed for monochromatic imagery of the solar atmosphere. Deslandres developed two kinds of spectrographs: the "spectrohéliographe des formes", i.e. the narrow bandpass instrument to reveal chromospheric structures (such as filaments, prominences, plages and active regions); and the "spectrohéliographe des vitesses", i.e. the section spectroheliograph to record line profiles of cross sections of the Sun with a 20''-30'' spatial step. This second apparatus was intended to measure the velocities (more exactly the Dopplershifts) of dynamic features. Deslandres moved to Meudon in 1898 with his instruments and tested various combinations, in order to improve the spectral and spatial resolutions, leading to the final large quadruple spectroheliograph in 1908. CaII K systematic observations started at this date and were followed in 1909 by Hα. The service was organized by Lucien d'Azambuja and continues today. Optical and mechanical parts were revisited in 1989 and the digital technology was introduced in 2002. Full line profiles are registered for all pixels of the Sun since 2018, so that the instrument produces now data-cubes. The collection is one of the longest available (more than 100 000 observations). It contains sporadic images from 1893 to 1907 (during the development phase) and systematic observations along 10 solar cycles since 1908, in Hα and CaII K lines. This paper summarizes 130 years of observations, instrumental research and technical advances.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
Spectroheliograms_english.pdf (6.45 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Files produced by the author(s)

Dates and versions

hal-03956061 , version 1 (25-01-2023)


Attribution - CC BY 4.0



Jean-Marie Malherbe. 130 years of spectroheliograms at Paris-Meudon observatories (1892-2022). Observatoire de Paris. 2023. ⟨hal-03956061⟩
14 View
2 Download



Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More