Getting to the truth about the solar chromosphere

August 01, 2018

Radiative magnetohydrodynamic simulations for the Sun

The solar chromosphere, lying between the photosphere and the transition to the corona, is one of the most exciting layers of the solar atmosphere. It is extremely dynamic, with shocks, jets, waves, reconnection, and spicules. It involves non-LTE radiative transfer is critical to the energetics, as are magnetic fields,  shocks, and waves. Recombination times can be long compared to the timescales of the dynamics, which means the plasma is mostly out of statistical  equilibrium. This complexity and the strong dynamics has made the chromosphere very challanging to investigate theoretically, which is why it is one of the most mysterious parts of the Sun. In this project the state-of-the-art radiation-MHD MURaM code, which, after a significant extension in which a lot of new physics was added, is now able to model the chromosphere, will be used to greatly enhance our understanding of the solar chromosphere, e.g. to get to the bottom of what drives its dynamics.

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