The Sun generates a powerful magnetic field, which drives the solar storms that occasionally batter the worlds of the Solar System. However, the magnetic fields in the solar corona are very hard to observe, despite their importance in creating space weather. For that reason, scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian developed the Airborne Infrared Spectrometer (AIR-Spec), an instrument carried aboard an airplane to measure the properties and effects of the coronal magnetic field during solar eclipses, where the corona is most plainly visible. AIR-Spec was inaugurated during the 2017 total solar eclipse visible across the United States; an improved version will fly during the 2019 eclipse visible from South America and the southern Pacific Ocean.
Visit the AIR-Spec Website