The prototype: SCORE
SCORE, prototype of Metis, was successfully launched in a suborbital flight in 2009 from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico (US). SCORE was part of HERSCHEL — HElium Resonant Scattering in the Corona and HELiosphere — a program approved by NASA and led by Dan Moses, at that time at the Naval Research Laboratory (US).
SCORE is the first multi-band coronagraph, capable of obtaining simultaneous coronal images in polarized visible light, in the UV H I Lyman-α at 121.6 nm and in the extreme UV He II Lyman-α at 30.4 nm. The 2009 flight, in addition to test the concept of multi-band coronagraph, has allowed us to obtain the first images in helium emission of the outer corona. Thus it has been possible to measure for the first time the abundance of coronal helium. Helium is the second most abundant element in the solar atmosphere and in the heliosphere.
The SCORE coronagraph has been designed and implemented by the Astrophysical Observatory of Torino (INAF) and by the University of Firenze. The scientists involved in the SCORE realization are Silvano Fineschi (INAF-OATO), Marco Romoli (Univ. of Firenze), with the collaboration of Gerardo Capobianco (INAF-OATO), Mauro Focardi (Univ. of Firenze), Federico Landini (Univ. of Firenze), Giuseppe Massone (INAF-OATO), Maurizio Pancrazzi (Univ. of Firenze), and Guglielmo Rossi (Univ. of Firenze). SCORE data have been analyzed by Lucia Abbo e Daniele Telloni (INAF-OATO). Principal Investigator of the first SCORE flight has been Ester Antonucci (INAF-OATO).