Solar Intern Program Project:
 Title: Tracing out the Solar Magnetic Field

Type of Project: Data Analysis

Skills/Interest Required: Interest in solar physics and statistics. Familiarity with computer programming would be useful but not strictly required.

Mentor: Dr. Henry "Trae" Winter and Dr. Kathy Reeves



The Suns outer atmosphere, the solar corona, is dominated by loop-like structures. These coronal loops are thought to trace out magnetic fields in the corona, but recent work has put this into doubt. With the new Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on the Solar Dynamics Mission, we can now study coronal loops over the entire solar disk at high cadence and spatial resolution, with good temperature diagnostics as well.


We will study dynamic features in solar loops. Many loops show bright blobs flowing across their length. Due to the high temperatures in the corona, these blobs are assumed to be completely ionized, and therefore must follow magnetic field lines. By studying these blobs in detail we can determine the shape and expansion of the magnetic field and compare it to current models.


A set of solar coronal loops as seen by the Atmospheric Imaging Array (AIA) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in the 171 Angstrom channel.


Section Photo