The contribution of plasma jets and sporadic radiative events to the coronal heating puzzle

Lead Research Organisation: Armagh Observatory
Department Name: Astronomy


Since the discovery at the beginning of the last century that sunspots coincide with strong magnetic fields, we have become increasingly aware of the Sun's magnetic fields as an complex and subtle system. The familiar 11-year sunspot cycle is just the most obvious of its many manifestations. We are currently positioned for a new era of discovery about the Sun and how it affects life on Earth, how distant stars work, and how we might control plasmas in laboratories. To embark on that journey, we must observe the Sun and its magnetic activities at higher resolutions on three fronts: Spatial ... resolve fundamental scales of structures on the solar surface and in its atmosphere, Spectral ... obtain narrow slices of the solar spectrum for better measurements of the dynamic nature of the solar atmosphere and Temporal ... high cadence (frequent) images and spectra of rapidly developing events. On the interpretation front we not only need better models but an understanding of the necessary atomic processes at work. This proposal plans to address the above issues with regard to various small-scale transient features in the solar atmosphere.


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