Partner Groups can be established in cooperation with an institute abroad if outstanding junior scientists (post-docs) returns after a research visit to a Max Planck Institute to a leading and appropriately-equipped laboratory in their home country and continue their research on a research topic that is also of interest to the previous host Max Planck Institute.
Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune (India)
Head of the Partner Group: Prof. Dr. Durgesh Tripathi
The main scientific objective of this collaboration is to study the dynamics and coupling of the solar atmosphere with emphasis on eruptive phenomena on the Sun, heating of the upper solar atmosphere i.e., corona and chromosphere, and sun-climate relationship. The problem of solar coronal and chromospheric heating has been at the forefront of astrophysics research since its discovery in 1940s. Despite major improvements in theoretical modelling and observational capabilities, the solution remains illusive. Additionally, large-scale solar eruptions such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections have direct consequences and potentially devastative impact on space weather and geo-space climate. The occurrence of these highly energetic phenomena has proven to be highly difficult to comprehend. In addition, the UV, EUV and X-ray radiation from the Sun play an important role in shaping our longer-term climate pattern on Earth. In particular the UV radiation from the Sun is of prime importance as it heats the Earth’s Stratosphere and Mesosphere, regulating Ozone abundance and influencing dynamics of Earth’s climate.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai (India)
Head of the Partner Group: Dr. Shravan Hanasoge
In the Sun and Sun-like stars, thermal convection likely drives large-scale flows, differential rotation and meridional circulation, which in turn generate and sustain global magnetic fields (dynamo). However, modeling convection is one of the greatest challenges in stellar physics. This collaboration aims to measure convective velocities in the solar interior using improved techniques of helioseismology applied to Solar Dynamics Observatory observations (hosted at MPI for Solar System Research), to discriminate among competing theories and elucidate global dynamics in stellar convection zones.
Institute of Space Physics and Applied Technology, School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University (China)
Head of the Partner Group: Assistant Prof. Dr. Hui Tian
The research of this partner group focuses on several types of small-scale dynamic events in the lower solar atmosphere as well as the lower atmospheric response to solar flares. NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission recently discovered three types of small activities in the lower solar atmosphere: so-called IRIS bombs in active regions, transition region bright dots in sunspots, and network jets outside active regions. These events likely play an important role in heating of the solar atmosphere as well as in the mass and energy supply to the solar wind. A deeper investigation of these newly discovered and poorly understood events therefore promises new insights into the workings of the solar atmosphere. The planned research will determine the role of magnetic reconnection in the energization of the lower solar atmosphere, and characterize the dependence of these dynamical events on the process of magnetic flux emergence. Recent high-resolution observations from both space and ground-based observatories have revealed great details of the energy deposition processes in the lower atmosphere during solar flares. As part of the research activities of this partner group, we also investigate flare heating mechanisms by charactering these fine-scale flare dynamics.