Solar flares are the most energetic events in our solar system. They manifest as extreme eruptions of intensity and temperature in the solar atmosphere as a result of out-of-equilibrium, complex magnetic field configurations. These energetic events are of vital importance to the astrophysics community at large as developing methods for their prediction can protect space based electronics from harsh solar storms, and a greater understanding of their morphology will help in diagnosing whether flaring stars in our galaxy are capable of supporting life.
The project will use cutting-edge chromospheric diagnostics such as the Balmer lines to derive physical parameters of the solar atmosphere and assess how these parameters evolve during the flare process at unprecedented resolution.
Prof Mihalis Mathioudakis, Dr Aaron Reid: email