Collaborative Research: Shine: Laboratory, Observational, And Modeling Investigations Of The Torus Instability And Associated Solar Corona Eruptive Phenomena

Project: Research project

Project Details


This research project will extend understanding of solar corona plasmas beyond what is possible using single approaches, such as just analyzing data, just modeling, or just doing experiments. The cross-checking and discussion of these different approaches will provide a robust means for getting to the heart of the matter and finding out what is really going on. By reconciling first-principle models, experiments, and analysis of observations, there is an excellent prospect of achieving long-sought insights and improved understanding regarding underlying solar eruption mechanisms. This 3-year collaborative SHINE project would yield: (i) improved understanding of solar corona global phenomena since eruptions impact the remainder of the solar corona by shedding magnetic energy, magnetic helicity, and plasma particles; (ii) improved understanding of phenomena associated with eruptions such as energetic particles and electromagnetic radiation spanning from radio waves to gamma rays; (iii) improved understanding of the terrestrial impact of eruptions such as the effects on the magnetosphere and ionosphere, on radio propagation, and on spacecraft; (iv) increased Public interest in solar physics, because of the highly visual nature of the experiments, the observations, and the numerical modeling; and, (v) training of students in solar and plasma physics and supporting a young female researcher. The research and EPO agenda of this project supports the Strategic Goals of the AGS Division in discovery, learning, diversity, and interdisciplinary research.

The main goal of this 3-year collaborative SHINE project is to combine laboratory experiments, analysis of data from actual solar eruptions, and numerical modeling of the fundamental magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). Laboratory plasmas having morphology and dynamics similar to solar plasmas will be studied by at Caltech. This study is feasible because MHD has no intrinsic scale so MHD laboratory plasmas having dimensionless numbers and morphology similar to the solar corona will exhibit similar behavior, but on much different temporal and spatial scales. The analysis of actual solar eruptions and CME kinematics will be performed at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This analysis will focus on the magnetic field structural properties in and above the source regions of eruptions. The analysis will apply non-linear force-free extrapolations based on magnetogram data obtained from spacecraft, such as Hinode and SDO, so as to calculate the strapping field profile as a function of altitude and core magnetic field. The dependence of CME acceleration profile and final speed on the decay index will be analyzed and compared to the experiments and to the numerical models developed at Predictive Science Inc. The project team will compare numerical predictions to both the laboratory experiments and the solar eruption analysis. This comparison will take into account both the strapping field decay index and morphological changes of erupting flux ropes due to kinking.
Effective start/end date6/1/145/31/17


  • National Science Foundation


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