Collaborative Research: Shine--Magnetic Energy Release During Solar Eruptions - From Large To Small Scales

Project: Research project

Project Details


This 3-year SHINE project is aimed at gaining a comprehensive understanding of the physical connection between small-scale physical processes at magnetic reconnection sites in the solar atmosphere and the evolution of solar eruptions at greater scales. This, the project has the potential to significantly advance knowledge of the energy release process in solar eruptions. In particular, the project will explore the relationship between small-scale energy release in the form of outflows in the current sheet region and the large-scale transport of thermal energy in the flare structure. The integrated modeling efforts will form the basis of the development of a more sophisticated, full three-dimensional (3-D) simulation of solar eruptions in the future.The 3-year research program integrates two sets of well-developed, state-of-the-art magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations: one simulation models the large-scale structure and evolution of solar flares, whereas the other simulation targets detailed dynamics in and around the reconnection current sheet region at small scales. The large-scale flare simulation will be used to set up the context and initial conditions for the detailed full 3-D simulation of the reconnection region. The outputs of the detailed small scale 3-D simulation, in turn, will provide feedback and update the large-scale simulation to evaluate the consequences of small-scale energy release processes. The modeling results will be compared with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and X-ray observations to test and improve our understanding of the energy release and conversion processes from small to large scales. A variety of well observed, but poorly understood phenomena that are closely tied to the energy release processes will be investigated and compared to model outputs, including supra-arcade down-flows and other fast plasma outflows, current-sheet like structures above flare loops, and hot loop-top EUV/X-ray sources.The improved knowledge on the origin of solar eruptions is critical to understand basic science needed to meet the goals of the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan, which aims to develop tools to forecast space weather and mitigate its impacts. The project team will involve students in this SHINE research through the established CfA's Solar Physics Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. These students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including traditionally underrepresented groups in the sciences. Thus, the research and EPO agenda of this project supports the Strategic Goals of the AGS Division in discovery, learning, diversity, and interdisciplinary research.
Effective start/end date8/15/177/31/20


  • National Science Foundation


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