Observations And Analysis Of White-Light Flares With High Resolution

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Principal Investigator (PI) will investigate the origin of white-light solar flare emission by using observations and numerical simulations of precipitating high energy particles and of their concomitant heating of the lower solar atmosphere. This study will take advantage of existing adaptive-optics-equipped facilities at the Dunn Solar Telescope in New Mexico and the German Vacuum Tower Telescope in the Canary Islands, as well as new adaptive-optics-equipped facilities that are expected to become available during the course of this project, namely, the New Solar Telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory in California and the Gregor Telescope in the Canary islands. The high cadence and high resolution observations of the Sun made by these instruments in near-infrared and visible light wavelengths will be supplemented by imaging spectroscopy of selected spectral lines and by spacecraft measurements of the Sun's hard X-ray emissions, which is a direct diagnostic of energetic particle acceleration. The PI will compare these observations with existing models to better understand the heating process of the lower solar atmosphere and to optimize the parameterizations within these models.

This effort will provide for the professional development of the PI as a young postdoctoral investigator and it will enhance global research infrastructure by promoting international collaboration among solar physics institutes in China, Germany, and the USA. White-light flares fall within the class of solar flares that are usually very strong and can cause adverse space weather effects at Earth. Therefore, a better understanding of their behavior will help to construct improved space weather models and operational forecasts for the benefit of society. The results of this study will also be applicable to research in stellar astrophysics and plasma physics.
Effective start/end date3/1/122/28/15


  • National Science Foundation


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