Solar Intern Program Project:
 Title:Nano-flare Heating of the Solar Coronal Loops

Type of Project: Simulations and Observations

Skills/Interest Required: The student must have an Interest in studying the coronal heating problem and understanding the coronal loop structure. Good knowledge of IDL and Mathematica will be an advantage.

Mentor: Dr. Mah Asgari



The classic picture of the solar coronal loops describes a highly conducting plasma. The plasma evolves due to the random motions of the photospheric footpoints. These motions result in the braiding of the magnetic field lines within and between the coronal loops. Once the braiding within the magnetic field lines reaches a critical value, the reconnection occurs and the energy is released in the form of a nano-flare. However, the detailed physical processes before and after the nano-flare heating is not yet fully understood.


In this project, we look at the modeling of coronal loops by nano-flare heating. And using data from Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS), and Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), we look for observational signatures of such modeling.

1. First the student will look for braided magnetic lines within an active region (Figure 1). Using the coronal modeling Software as well as forward modeling, the student will study and analyze the internal structure of these field lines and estimate the amount of braiding within these field lines.

2. Then the student will look for the observational evidence of nano-flare heating by looking at the data from EIS and IRIS (Figure1).


Figure1: A magnetic field line is fitted to the observed coronal loop. The field line was traced through the non-linear force free field modeling. And for each field line the amount of the braiding and twist is estimated.

Figure2: Snap shot of the intensity map from the EIS data.


Section Photo