European Solar Physics Online Seminar

Following an initiative by the University of Oslo the MPS will participate in the "European Solar Physics Online Seminar" series (ESPOS). Details can be found here:
The aim of this video conference series is to promote ideas more widely with a specialized audience, and give some exposure to cutting-edge research for students and other young researchers that do not regularly travel to conferences. The ESPOS series is planned to take place every second Thursday at 11am.

Location: University of Glasgow (broadcasted at MPS)
The strong enhancement of the ultraviolet emission during solar flares is usually taken as an indication of plasma heating in the low solar atmosphere caused by the deposition of the energy released during these events. Images taken with broadband ultraviolet filters by the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) and Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA 1600 and 1700 Å) have revealed the morphology and evolution of flare ribbons in great detail. However, the spectral content of these images is still largely unknown. Without the knowledge of the spectral contribution to these UV filters, the use of these rich imaging datasets is severely limited. Aiming to solve this issue, we estimate the spectral contributions of the AIA UV flare and plage images using high-resolution spectra in the range 1300 to 1900 Å from the Skylab NRL SO82B spectrograph. We find that the flare excess emission in AIA 1600 Å is composed of the C IV 1550 Å doublet (26%), Si I continua (20%), with smaller contributions from many other chromospheric lines such as C I 1561 and 1656 Å multiplets, He II 1640 Å, Si II 1526 and 1533 Å. For the AIA 1700 Å band, C I 1656 Å multiplet is the main contributor (38%), followed by He II 1640 (17%), and accompanied by a multitude of other chromospheric lines, with minimal contribution from the continuum. Our results can be generalised to state that the AIA UV flare excess emission is of chromospheric origin, while plage emission is dominated by photospheric continuum emission in both channels. [more]

ESP Online Seminar: Multi-height spectropolarimetric study of MHD waves in a big sunspot observed with IBIS (M. Stangalini)

We present preliminary results derived from the analysis of spectropolarimetric measurements of active region AR12546, which represents one of the largest sunspots to have emerged onto the solar surface over the last 20 years. The region was observed with full-Stokes scans of the Fe I 617.3 nm and Ca II 854.2 nm lines with the Interferometric BIdimensional Spectrometer (IBIS) instrument at the Dunn Solar Telescope over an uncommon, extremely long time interval exceeding three hours. We show preliminary results from the phase lag analysis of different quantities and discuss the results in terms of the literature on the subject and MHD wave propagation theory. [more]
Are some parts of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field’s (IMF) neutral line more flare energetic than others? What are Hale Sector Boundaries (HSBs) and are they connected with flares? Do they have anything to do with Active Longitudes? In this work, I will discuss how RHESSI flares are associated with structures in the solar magnetic field termed as HSBs. If you think of the large-scale domains of different polarity that the IMF is formed of, they the parts of the boundary between them, that have the same polarity change as the sunspots back at the Sun. As the polarity of sunspots follows Hale’s law, the HSB of a particular polarity change will only occur in one hemisphere per cycle, and then alternate in the next cycle. It has previously been shown that HSBs coincide with stronger magnetic fields and more frequent flare occurrence (Dittmer 1975, Svalgaard & Wilcox 1976, Svalgaard et al. 2011). I will explain how we extended this work through solar cycles 23 and 24 using RHESSI flare locations from2002 to 2016. We compared these flares to the HSBs determined using two different methods. One uses the polarity change at the Earth to estimate when the HSB was at solar central meridian and the other uses Potential Field Source Surface (PFSS) extrapolations to identify the HSB for all times. We found that for both Cycle 23 and 24 more than 40% of non-limb flares were located near a HSB, a correlation that varies with cycle phase and hemisphere. I will describe how this evolves with time and the potential of these approaches for assisting flare forecasting. We then used the locations of HSBs calculated with the first method,using Earth-based data, to a Carrington rotation system and comparedthem with the migration paths of Active Longitudes as show in Gyenge et al. (2016). We found that there are times where they overlap, but that is not happening in a consistent manner. They often move at different rates relative to each other (and the Carrington solar rotation rate) and these vary over each Cycle. [more]
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