Energetic Events in the solar corona: coronal heating

Responsible person: Olena Podladchikova 

Overall description
This work package constitutes a fundamental research project with direct operational outputs thanks to its long-term activities and heritage from previous projects. The up-to-date tools and data provide fast connection between observational data and physical models to explain new phenomena discovered by the STEREO mission flying since 2007. 

Long Term Goal
Since 2006, the continuously improving performance of optical space diagnostics of the Sun (cadence, resolution, instrument sensitivity - variety of missions, improving telemetry) delivers an exponentially growing flow of new data. They contain precious and unique information about fundamental physics in space, but cannot serve us as the indicator of plasma processes directly. First we have to develop tools able to:

  • Handle exponentially growing data flow (data mining);
  • Extract physical information from data and present it in simple compact format.

Already now, the first steps of our data analysis as well as elaborated earlier physical models for the solar corona gives us strong indications about small-scale processes playing an unexpectedly important role in solar corona formation (e.g. turbulence generation in quiet sun; eruptive processes of active sun).

Thus, the final goal of this work package is to understand how the dynamic events of all scales contribute to coronal heating and solar wind formation near the Sun. The consecutive steps are to:

  • Build the physical model of small-scale eruptive events, using three-dimensional MHD models. They will incorporate experimental parameters extracted from tools developed by us at the STCE. This will be performed in collaboration with recognised specialists on plasma processes simulations. STCE contributes high expertise in experimental data as well to this task.
  • Perform the global analysis of eruption ensemble using the combination of the available data and the relevant numerical codes developed before in order to understand their general contribution to corona formation and solar wind generation.

The simultaneous observations by the 2 STEREO spacecraft of 2 different solar hemispheres are particularly helpful for these studies. First the full ensemble of events can be analysed. Already now the preliminary analysis of firstly available detailed spatial information of eruptive events demonstrates that at least the significant part of them are initiated not in a sporadic way as it was considered before. 


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