ISSRESS: Impact of small-scale reconnection events on the solar atmosphere

This project aims to understand the origin and formation of small-scale magnetic reconnection events in the lower solar atmosphere and explore their role in the energy and mass transport from the lower to the upper solar atmosphere.

Large Ellerman bomb flame observed in H-beta wing with the SST on La Palma. Credit: Luc Rouppe van der Voort.

About the project

Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental physical process in which the magnetic topology is rearranged and magnetic energy is converted into other forms of energy such as heat and particle acceleration. For many dynamic and transient events in the solar atmosphere, magnetic reconnection is the fundamental driving mechanism. In the lower solar atmosphere, sites with magnetic reconnection can be observed as so-called Ellerman bombs at spatial scales of a few hundreds of kilometers. 

The figure shows a clear example of an Ellerman bomb in an active region. Our recent high-resolution observations with the SST have shown that these Ellerman bombs occur on the solar surface in much higher numbers than thought before. Credit: Luc Rouppe van der Voort.


The central objective of the ISSRESS project is to understand the origin and formation of Ellerman bombs in the quiet Sun (areas on the Sun that are magnetically inactive) and explore their impact on the solar atmosphere. We plan to achieve this goal by combining high quality observations from space and from the ground, and by comparing observational data with 3D numerical models of the solar atmosphere. The observations will be acquired through coordinated campaigns with NASA's IRIS satellite and the SST on La Palma.

Competences and tools

The project will fund one postdoctoral fellow for three years and RoCS contributes with one PhD student. The project further provides support for hardware needed for data processing and storage.

Project period

October 2021 - 2025. 


The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Published Mar. 1, 2022 12:47 PM - Last modified Mar. 23, 2022 11:13 AM