Solar Intern Program Project:
 Title: Airborne InfraRed Spectrometer (AIR-Spec) Eclipse Science and Outreach

Type of Project: Science, Outreach

Skills/Interest Required: A successful student should have an interest in spectroscopy, instrumentation and public outreach.

Special requirements: Fluency in Spanish and a willingness to learn specialized Spanish vocabulary related to solar physics, telescopes and spectroscopic instrumentation. A US Passport that is valid between June and August 2019. These requirements are necessary for this project, and potential candidates will be interviewed to make sure they meet these requirements.

Mentors:Dr. Ed DeLuca, Dr. Jenna Samra, Dr. Chad Madsen



The solar magnetic field enables the heating of the corona and stores the energy that is released in solar flares and coronal mass ejections. Coronal magnetic field measurements are very challenging and few existing instruments can make them, but they have the potential to significantly enhance our understanding of coronal dynamics and improve space weather forecasting models. The Airborne Infrared Spectrometer (AIR-Spec) is a new instrument that will take an important first step toward measuring the coronal magnetic field.


This project will involve the analysis of coronal observations taken by the Airborne InfraRed Spectrometer (AIR-Spec) during the 2017 total solar eclipse and EUV spectrographic observations from the Hinode EUV Imaging Spectrometer. We will measure the temperature and density structure of the corona and determine the absolute line strengths of the coronal IR forbidden lines.

The student will also work with the AIR-Spec 2.0 team on the July 2 2019 total eclipse in the eastern south pacific. The student must be fluent in Spanish and have a strong interest in science education. The student will travel to Lima Peru with the AIR-Spec team, support pre-flight testing and participate in tours and lectures on the AIR-Spec project and the scientific importance of solar eclipses as arranged by the US Embassy and NCAR flight team.

Figure 1: The AIR-Spec team prepares the instrument for a practice flight before the 2017 eclipse. Photo credit: Cliff Grassmick, Boulder Daily Camera.


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