Status Report

Measuring the magnetic origins of solar flares, CMEs and Space Weather

By SpaceRef Editor
June 15, 2021
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Philip Judge, Matthias Rempel, Rana Ezzedine, Lucia Kleint, Ricky Egeland, Svetlana Berdyugina, Thomas Berger, Joan Burkepile, Rebecca Centeno, Giuliana de Toma, Mausumi Dikpati, Yuhong Fan, Holly Gilbert, Daniela Lacatus

We take a broad look at the problem of identifying the magnetic solar causes of space weather. With the lackluster performance of extrapolations based upon magnetic field measurements in the photosphere, we identify a region in the near UV part of the spectrum as optimal for studying the development of magnetic free energy over active regions. Using data from SORCE, Hubble Space Telescope, and SKYLAB, along with 1D computations of the near-UV (NUV) spectrum and numerical experiments based on the MURaM radiation-MHD and HanleRT radiative transfer codes, we address multiple challenges. These challenges are best met through a combination of near UV lines of bright \ion{Mg}{2}, and lines of \ion{Fe}{2} and \ion{Fe}{1} (mostly within the 4s−4p transition array) which form in the chromosphere up to 2×104 K. Both Hanle and Zeeman effects can in principle be used to derive vector magnetic fields. However, for any given spectral line the τ=1 surfaces are generally geometrically corrugated owing to fine structure such as fibrils and spicules. By using multiple spectral lines spanning different optical depths, magnetic fields across nearly-horizontal surfaces can be inferred in regions of low plasma β, from which free energies, magnetic topology and other quantities can be derived.

Based upon the recently-reported successful suborbital space measurements of magnetic fields with the CLASP2 instrument,

we argue that a modest space-borne telescope will be able to make significant advances in the attempts to predict solar eruptions. Difficulties associated with blended lines are shown to be minor in an Appendix.

Comments: Accepted in ApJ

Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Cite as: arXiv:2106.07786 [astro-ph.SR] (or arXiv:2106.07786v1 [astro-ph.SR] for this version)

Submission history

From: Philip Judge Dr [view email]

[v1] Mon, 14 Jun 2021 22:38:47 UTC (3,265 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.