A research team from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Alabama, Huntsville seeks examine the mechanisms that trigger solar flares through a Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) Critical Science project. They will make use of 3D computer models and ground-based and space-based telescopes to examine how energy builds up in the solar photosphere before a flare erupts. This fundamental study of the Sun is relevant to NSF's mission in two ways. First, it advances fundamental understanding of a star and can be of use for modeling flares on other stars. Second, it relates to the national priority to better understand space weather. The results of this research could be used to improve modeling for predicting solar flares. The broader impacts of this project also include support for two PhD students and will involve high school and REU (NSF/Research Experience for Undergraduates) students. The research team will address the role of small-scale magnetic reconnection in triggering solar flares and their relationships to flare precursors, as well as how photospheric flows build up energy for onset of eruptions. The project includes a plan for observational studies using a combination of space and ground-based data products. Specifically, from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (HMI - Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager), Hinode (SOT - Solar Optical Telescope-SpectroPolarimeter), Big Bear Solar Observatory’s Goode Solar Telescope (GST), and NSF’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST). Non-Linear Force Free Field extrapolation methods will be used to obtain 3D magnetic structures for flare producing active regions. These extrapolations would be constrained with GST and DKIST data and then be used, along with derived photospheric flows, as input into an adaptive mesh refinement magnetohydrodynamic code. Results of the MHD code would then be compared with observations of flare ribbons structures and motions and post-flare magnetic topology.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/22 → 8/31/25|
- National Science Foundation: $305,598.00
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