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Astrophysics Research Centre

School of Mathematics and Physics

Photospheric Flare Diagnostics


Solar flares are the most energetic events in our solar system and are generated in out of equilibrium plasma magnetic field interactions. The energy released during a solar flare can be as high as 1025 Joules and influence our terrestrial environment. Stellar flares are much more energetic events with energies as high as 1030 Joules. They are thought to originate from processes similar to solar flares operating under different boundary conditions.

Project Description

The prevailing model for flare initiation is based on an electron beam that penetrates the lower atmosphere producing explosive evaporation and heating to high temperatures. Despite numerous studies of evaporation processes in the chromosphere and corona, the impact of the flare beams to the photospheric velocity profiles has remained unexplored. The observational signatures of the processes at work can be identified in spectral lines and continua across the electromagnetic spectrum. The project will combine state-of-the-art simulations with observations to address some important questions on the impact of flares to solar/stellar atmospheres. The main objectives of the project are:

  • Use the F-CHROMA grid of flare models to identify the effects of electron beams at the deepest layers of the solar atmosphere
  • Expand the existing grid by including protons beams and direct heating
  • Perform line synthesis to identify the photospheric lines that show the strongest response to the heating
  • Compare the simulated spectra with high resolution spectroscopic observations
  • Use the simulations to define the science goals of future ground-based and space-borne observatories. These observatories include the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope, European Solar Telescope, Solar Orbiter and others

Other information

QUB has been a member of F-CHROMA (www.fchroma.org), a research consortium funded by the European Commission, that focused on space-based and ground-based multi-mode, multi-wavelength studies of solar flares. The student will work in collaboration with an international team of researchers at QUB, Europe and the US.

Facilities to be used

RADYN & RH (Radiative Hydrodynamic Codes), Swedish Solar Telescope (La Palma), Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (Maui).

QUB staff and external collaborators associated with the project

Prof Mihalis Mathioudakis (QUB), Dr Chris Watson (QUB), Prof Adam Kowalski (Colorado University/NSO), Dr Steven Saar (Harvard/CfA)

More information from the primary supervisor: Prof Mihalis Mathioudakis M.Mathioudakis@qub.ac.uk

public/phds2019/2019_mathioudakis_flares.txt · Last modified: 2019/02/05 18:53 by Stuart Sim

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