RoCS as first choice

- This position places me in the best research environment, says Nancy Narang who has worked as a postdoctoral fellow for RoCS since last winter.

Woman with dark long hair

Nancy Narang, Postdoctoral fellow at RoCS. Photo: UiO


- I received my graduate degree (Physics Honours) and postgraduate degree in Physics (specialisation in Electronics & Astrophysics) at the University of Delhi.  Thereafter I completed my PhD in Solar Physics in August 2019 at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bangalore, India.

Study and work field

- Where have you studied before and in what field? What are the differences from or similarities to your current project?

- During my PhD I studied the Sun with the help of imaging and spectroscopic observations from international solar observatories, focused to understand the observational nature, properties and dynamics of various fine-scale phenomena occurring in the solar atmosphere.  I will complement these studies at RoCS with theoretical models and numerical simulations to explore the role of the solar magnetic field in origin and evolution of different small-scale features and events, and finally their impact on solar atmospheric heating.

- What is the main question of your study?

Understanding how the solar atmosphere is heated up to million-kelvin is a major challenge in solar astrophysics. To target this long-standing problem of solar atmospheric heating, I will combine state-of-the-art theoretical models, numerical simulations and high-resolution observations of the Sun.

With this joint approach we can improve our understanding of the role of the solar magnetic field in driving the dynamics of the solar atmosphere.

- How do you plan to answer to the main question?

- It is important to couple theoretical and numerical models with observations as they serve as complementary aspects to each other. I will particularly focus on the most common solar magnetic structures, i.e. network-internetwork (N-IN) structures to understand their impact on the energy balance of the solar atmosphere. Many fine-scale phenomena continuously occur in the solar atmosphere due to the dynamics of N-IN magnetic fields. Their persistent presence shows the importance of their role in the mass-energy cycle of the solar atmosphere, and thus are one of the main candidates to understand the energetics of the solar atmosphere.

The Sun
AIA/SDO 1600 Å  full disk image of Sun and a zoom in showing the characteristic N-IN pattern of dark Internetwork regions surrounded by bright Network lanes. Credits: N. Narang

I will employ observations from world-class solar observatories (SST, DKIST, ALMA, IRIS, SDO) and Bifrost simulations to explore the behaviour of spectral lines sensitive to the solar magnetic field. Comparisons will be carried out between observed spectral signatures and those from the synthetic line profiles generated from numerical models. Such comparisons will provide insights about the underlying physical mechanisms responsible for the dynamics of the N-IN magnetic fields and eventually help us to understand its impact on the evolution of solar atmosphere.

Best place to start

- What brought you to Oslo? 

- RoCS, being one of the international leading groups in Solar Physics research, was always on my priority to work at for my first Postdoc. The position places me in the best research environment.

RoCS stands tall in producing high-quality research with unique amalgamation of observations and simulations. Being part of such a group will expand my knowledge and lay a stepping stone for me to build a robust research profile.

Great location

- I always had a fancy to experience life in a Scandinavian country. Norway, being called the land of Midnight Sun, with its mesmerizing Northern Lights has always fascinated me. Oslo being capital of Norway, means experiencing Scandinavian traditions with a touch of international cultures, which easily attracts a person like me.

-  How can you describe your experience here so far?

- It has been an amazing experience to work at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA). People here are welcoming and supportive. I find the work environment to be very motivational to discuss science and research. The unique location of ITA in the beautiful and vibrant UiO campus, with its proximity to nature, makes the whole experience most pleasant. Additionally, I have enjoyed natural serenity and scenic beauty of the city almost a year along, its colourful landscapes from spring to autumn and snow in winter. 

Indisk kvinne med slalåmski i bakken
Early this year in Oslo, after attempting skiing for the first time in my life. Credits: Tiago Pereira & K. Chandrashekhar

- What do you expect from your stay?

- Concerning RoCS & ITA, I believe I will learn new research skills, expand my knowledge and become a better scientist. Regarding Oslo & Norway, I would love to experience Norwegian culture and traditions, and learn skiing! I would like to see more of Norway to dive into its natural grace which I will cherish always.

By Eyrun Thune
Published Nov. 5, 2020 2:26 PM - Last modified Jan. 7, 2021 12:05 PM