Found 31 talks archived in The Sun

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Thursday March 22, 2012
Dr. María Jesús Martínez González
IAC

Abstract

Solar magnetism may look deceptively boring (a rather common star with relatively low activity). As it turns out, even the most quiet areas of the Sun (away from the sunspots) harbour a rich and interesting magnetic activity which is extremely complex and dynamic at spatial scales as small as ~100 km. And more importantly, this magnetism permeates most of the Sun, all the time. Therefore, it is not surprising that it might play an important role for solving some longstanding questions of stellar magnetism as: how is the million degree corona maintained when all sunspots have disappeared during the minimum of magnetic activity? And this is of interest not only for solar physics but for stellar astrophysics too, since it is expected that every star with a convective envelope harbours small-scale magnetic activity that we cannot hope to observe with the great detail we observe it in the Sun. From the first evidence of the presence of magnetic fields in the quiet areas of the Sun to the discovery of the smallest organised magnetic structures ever observed in a stellar surface just 30 years have passed. In this seminar, I will give an overview of our present knowledge about the small-scale quiet Sun magnetism. In particular, I will show how small loops of sizes of several hundreds of kilometers appear in the surface and travel across the solar atmosphere, reaching upper layers and having direct implications on chromospheric (coronal) magnetism. I will also show some of the properties of these newly discovered magnetic structures such as their spatial distribution, a key ingredient for understanding their origin.


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Thursday March 15, 2012
Mr. Jasa Calogovic
Hvar Observatory (Zagreb)

Abstract

Global warming has often been portrayed as being connected only to greenhouse gasses in widespread media. However, these are just one of many factors influencing Earth’s climate. Over long timescales the Sun has been the major force driving climate changes. So-called global warming skeptics often use arguments of natural (solar driven) climate changes to argue that anthropogenic influences on the climate over last century have been largely overestimated. These arguments frequently involve hypothesized solar – climate linkages, for which there is a low level of scientific understanding, making the arguments problematic to easily prove or refute. There are three solar parameters proposed which may influence the Earth’s climate: total solar irradiance (TSI), ultraviolet (UV) spectral irradiance, or the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) flux. In recent years there has been a vigorous debate in scientific community regarding the notion of a cosmic rays influence on clouds cover. If true, such a link could have serious implications for our understanding of climate change: consequently, this has become one of the most frequent arguments of global warming skeptics. This talk will give a short overview of different forcing factors in the climate system, give a description of some hypothesized mechanisms linking solar activity to Earth’s climate, and present our current work aiming to resolve the hypothesized link between cosmic rays and clouds.


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Thursday December 16, 2010
Dr. Damian Fabbian, Dr. Héctor Socas-Navarro
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain

Abstract

(1) In a recently published differential analysis (see Fabbian et al) we have derived abundance corrections for iron lines, using synthetic spectra from solar magneto-convection simulations that were performed via running the Copenhagen stagger-code on massively-parallel clusters. The series of 3D snapshots used for the spectral synthesis covers 2.5 solar hours in the statistically stationary regime of the convection. Crucially, we show that the effect of magnetic fields on solar abundance determinations cannot be neglected. This is equally valid for all three different Fe abundance indicators which we have studied, though the sign of the abundance correction changes depending on the interplay of the magnetic-sensitivity of the spectral line under consideration and of temperature structure variations.
Interestingly, for two of the abundance indicators (respectively, at 608.27nm and 624.07 nm) that were used in Asplund et al's analysis and that we also included in our investigation, the presence of a magnetic field has a predominantly indirect (i.e., due to temperature changes between MHD and HD models) effect, leading to positive abundance corrections (since the final equivalent width of those Fe I lines is found to decrease with increasing magnetic flux). The direct magnetic effect due to Zeeman broadening dominates instead for the 1564.85 nm absorption line, causing for it increasingly negative abundance corrections when making the initially implanted magnetic flux larger.

(2) A new three-dimensional model of the solar photosphere is presented in this paper and made publicly available to the community. This model has the peculiarity that it has been obtained by inverting spectro-polarimetric observations, rather than from numerical radiation hydrodynamical simulations. The data used here are from the spectro-polarimeter on-board the Hinode satellite, which routinely delivers Stokes I, Q, U and V profiles in the 6302 Å spectral region with excellent quality, stability and spatial resolution (approximately 0.3''). With such spatial resolution, the major granular components are well resolved, which implies that the derived model needs no micro- or macro-turbulence to properly fit the widths of the observed spectral lines. Not only this model fits the observed data used for its construction, but it can also fit previous solar atlas observations satisfactorily.


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Thursday November 11, 2010
Dr. Jaime de la Cruz Rodríguez
The Institute for Solar Physics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

Abstract

Fibrils are thin elongated features visible in the solar chromosphere in and around magnetized regions. Because of their visual appearance they have been traditionally considered a tracer of the magnetic field lines. In this work we challenge that notion for the first time by comparing their orientation to that of the magnetic field, obtained via high-resolution spectro-polarimetric observations of Ca II lines. The short answer to the question posed in the title is that mostly yes, but not always.

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Thursday May 13, 2010
Dr. Jorge Sánchez Almeida
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain

Abstract

We present a visual determination of the number of bright points (BPs) existing in the quiet Sun, which are structures though to trace intense kG magnetic concentrations. The measurement is based on a 0.1 arcsec angular resolution G-band movie obtained with the Swedish Solar Telescope at the solar disk center. We find 0.97 BPs/Mm2, which is a factor three larger than any previous estimate. It corresponds to 1.2 BPs per solar granule. Depending on the details of the segmentation, the BPs cover between 0.9% and 2.2% of the solar surface. Assuming their field strength to be 1.5 kG, the detected BPs contribute to the solar magnetic flux with an unsigned flux density between 13G and 33G. If network and inter-network regions are counted separately, they contain 2.2 BPs/Mm2 and 0.85 BPs/Mm2, respectively.

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Thursday April 29, 2010
Prof. Jack Harvey
National Solar Observatory, USA

Abstract

The Sun presents us with many unsolved mysteries. In this talk I discuss three of them that have intrigued me for the last 50 years. Solar flares are the most powerful explosions in space between here and the nearby stars. The only viable power source is stored magnetic energy. Yet definitive observations of changes in the magnetic field associated with flares have been lacking until recently. Measurements with the GONG network have helped to address this mystery and the results are surprising. Efforts to observe the weak magnetic fields in the solar photosphere date nearly to the discovery of magnetism on the Sun. Improvements in observational capabilities have made this area a 'hot' topic with many important contributions from people at the IAC. High resolution observations are clarifying many features. I will focus on the role played by lower resolution work in defining the uniformity of the still mysterious weak magnetic fields over large spatial and temporal scales. Physics changes from hydrodynamic to magnetic dominance as one moves upward from the photosphere to the chromosphere. This leads to significant and complicated changes in the magnetic field in both the active and quiet Sun. Observations of the chromospheric magnetic field show several unexpected and mysterious features. Solving these mysteries will be an exciting area as observational and spectral inversion capabilities develop.

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Tuesday April 27, 2010
Dr. María Jesús Martínez González
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain

Abstract

The quiet Sun (the 99%, or more, of the solar surface not covered by sunspots or active regions) is receiving increased attention in recent years; its role on the global magnetism and its complexity are being increasingly recognised. A picture of a rather stochastic quiet Sun magnetism is emerging. From these recent works, the quiet Sun magnetism is presented as a myriad of magnetic field vectors having an isotropical distribution with a cascade of scales down to the mean free path of the photon. But this chaotic representation also shows clear signs of intermittency: at a low frequency rate (0.022 events h-1 arcsec-2) the magnetic field appear in the quiet Sun forming well-organised loop structures at granular scales. More interesting, these loops rise to higher layers and their energy input into the chromosphere can be important for the heating of this layer. In the talk, I will present a pedagogic view of the quiet Sun magnetism. I will focus on the ascent of the smallest ever observed magnetic flux emergence through the solar atmosphere. More specifically, I will show how to infer from high resolution, spectro-polarimetric observations (taken with the SOT instrument onboard Hinode) the magnetic topology of the fields, how they rise through the photosphere to the chromosphere, and the implications of this phenomena for chromospheric (and coronal) heating.


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Wednesday November 11, 2009
Dr. Jörg Büchner
Max-Planck Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Germany

Abstract

The dynamics of the solar atmosphere is largely controlled by its magnetic coupling to the photosphere of the Sun. Since the solar magnetic field is complex, numerical simulation must be utilized to investigate the coupling processes. Results will be shown of treating this way the two unresolved issues - the heating of the corona and the acceleration of the solar wind.

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Tuesday October 20, 2009
Prof. Matthias Rempel
Matthias Rempel, National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA

Abstract

For a long time radiative MHD simulations of entire sunspots from first principles were out of reach due to insufficient computing resources. Over the past 4 years simulations have evolved from 6x6x2 Mm size domains focusing on the details of umbral dots to simulations covering a pair of opposite polarity sunspots in a 100x50x6 Mm domain. In this talk I will discuss the numerical challenges encountered in comprehensive radiative MHD simulations of active regions and summarize the recent progress. Numerical simulations point toward a common magnetoconvective origin of umbral dots and filaments in the inner and outer penumbra. Most recent simulations also capture the processes involved in the formation of an extended outer penumbra with strong horizontal outflows averaging around 5 km/s in the photosphere. I will discuss in detail the magneto convective origin of penumbral fine structure as well as the Evershed flow. I will conclude with a brief summary of recent helioseismic studies based on realistic MHD simulations as well as inferences on the sub surface structure of sunspots.

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Friday January 30, 2009
Dr. Saku Tsuneta
National Astronomical Observatory, Japan

Abstract

The magnetic landscape of the polar region (Tsuneta et al, 2008) is characterized by vertical kilogauss patches with super-equipartition field strength, a coherence in polarity, lifetimes of 5-15 hr, and ubiquitous weaker transient horizontal fields (Lites et al 2008, Ishikawa & Tsuneta, 2008, 2009). Polar region in 2007 have abundant vertical fields much stronger than the quiet Sun. Unipolar appearance and disappearance of the kG vertical patches must be closely related to properties of the horizontal flow field in the polar region. Difference and similarity between the quiet sun and the polar region are summarized, and its implication for solar dynamo will be discussed. All the open field lines forming the polar coronal hole essentially originate from such magnetic patches, and the fast solar wind would emanate from these vertical flux tubes seen in the photosphere. We conjecture that vertical flux tubes with large expansion around the photospheric-coronal boundary serve as efficient chimneys for Alfven waves that accelerate the solar wind. Indeed, we discovered propagating Alfven waves (kink mode) with magneto-acoustic waves (sausage mode) in the solar photosphere with period of 4-13 minutes with Hinode spectro-polarimeter (Fujimura and Tsuneta, 2009). We found that these fluctuations are superposition of ascending and descending Alfven waves with almost equal intensities from the analysis of the phase relationship between transverse magnetic and velocity fluctuations. Aflven waves along flux tubes in the quiet sun appear to be efficiently reflected back probably at photosphere-corona boundary. It would be very interesting to measure possible change in the reflectivity of Alfven waves depending on the magnetic environment.