Solar Intern Program Project:
 Title: Parker Solar Probe makes its first visits to the Sun

Type of Project: Data analysis

Skills/Interest Required The student will gain experience in scientific computing, such as design and execution of numerical calculations in Python, IDL, Matlab, or similar, and in the physics of space plasmas (fluid dynamics, E&M). Prior experience or coursework in these subjects is helpful but not required.

Mentors: Dr. Michael Stevens, Dr. Anthony Case and Dr. Kelly Korreck



The Parker Solar Probe is humankind's first journey into the atmosphere of the Sun. When this REU session begins, the spacecraft will have completed its first two dives into the solar corona, and the team at SAO will be receiving and interpreting first-of-their kind measurements of the plasma environment there.


For this project, a student will analyze observations from the Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) experiment to characterize streams of charged particles from the Sun, and then he or she will use remote observations and state of the art modeling to pinpoint the sources of those streams. The student will then explore how the properties of the solar wind plasma change as it expands into the solar system.

Figure 1: An artist's concept of Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun.


Section Photo