Solar REU Program:
 Title: Statistical properties of X-ray bright points

Type of Project: Data analysis

Skills/Interest Required: Interest in physics of solar X-ray emission and magnetic activity. Familiarity with computer programming would be useful but not strictly required.

Mentor: Dr. Steve Saar and Samaiyah Farid



X-ray bright points (XBPs) are some of the smallest, seemingly simplest magnetic structures on the Sun, and are present almost everywhere, throughout the cycle. With the new Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on the Solar Dynamics Mission, we can now study XBPs over the entire solar disk at high cadence and spatial resolution, with good temperature diagnostics as well.


The student will use and help further develop an automated XBP finder which will generate a large array of useful statistics on XBPs with about 10 min cadence. This will permit large statistical studies to probe many aspects of these ubiquitous features such as: how do their collective properties (e.g., number, mean temperature, latitude distribution, magnetic environment) vary in time? how do they evolve individually over their lifetimes? does this change as a function of their properties? how many flare and/or are sites of mass loss/jets?


Figure 1: Left: Full disk image of the Sun taken during solar minimum with Hinode XRT and the Al-poly filter. Right: Same image analyzed by a (still evolving!) automated region identifier: purple = coronal holes, green = active regions, dark blue = quiet Sun, light blue = X-ray bright points, our targets!


Section Photo