Collaborative Research: SHINE: Investigation of Mini-filament Eruptions and Their Relationship with Small Scale Magnetic Flux Ropes in Solar Wind

Project: Research project

Project Details


It is well known that magnetic flux ropes (MFRs) exist ubiquitously in the solar surface and in the interplanetary space. MFRs are generally defined as a bundle of magnetic fields that are twisted about each other and wrap around a common axis. The large scale MFRs are often associated with solar filament eruptions, subsequent propagation of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) in solar wind, and furthermore, the Interplanetary CMEs (ICMs) towards Earth. In recent years, small-scale MFRs (SMFRs) in both solar surface and solar wind are receiving significant attention. Initial evidences show that they are numerous and ubiquitous from high resolution observations from the NSF-funded 1.6m Goode Solar Telescope (GST) of Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) and from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (PSP). This project addresses the Solar, Heliospheric, and Interplanetary Environment (SHINE) goal of linking the generation and propagation of SMFRs from the solar surface to the solar wind. Two female early career researchers will be supported, as well as undergraduate, graduate, and high school students. The team will mentor students at the NSF REU sites of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH).Using high-resolution, high-polarimetric and spectroscopic data from GST, in-situ observations from PSP as well as other ground-based and space observations, NJIT and UAH join an effort to carry out comprehensive case and statistical studies of SMFRs in solar surface and solar wind. The team will investigate the kinematic, thermal and magnetic properties of them, as well as possible photospheric magnetic field evolution associated with eruption of mini-filaments. In addition, they will find the connection between solar mini-filament eruptions and detected SMFRs in solar wind. The project uses data from NSF funded ground-based observations of BBSO. Combining the most advanced data from GST/BBSO and PSP, the team will disclose detailed properties of SMFRs and address the following key science questions. (1) What are the dynamic properties of mini-filament eruptions (velocity, temperature, density, energy)? (2) What is the photospheric magnetic structure and evolution associated with mini-filament eruptions? (3) What are the statistical distributions of mini-filament eruption in coronal holes and regular quiet sun? (4) Statistically, is there a possible connection between mini-filament eruptions and the SMFRs in the solar wind? These questions are of importance from two aspects: (1) to disclose the basic plasma properties of SMFRs and (2) to advance understanding of the formation of transients in the solar wind.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 date9/1/228/31/25


  • National Science Foundation: $435,681.00


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