SOLDYN : Unravelling the dynamics of the Solar Atmosphere

The aim of the SOLDYN project is to advance our understanding of the complex dynamics of the  solar atmosphere through the combination of high quality observations from both ground-based and space-born instruments. 

About the project

The Sun is our star and governs the solar system. There is a long scientific tradition of observing and studying the Sun but many fundamental questions remain unclear. For example, we still lack detailed understanding on why the outer solar atmosphere, the corona, is so hot (millions of degrees) while the solar surface is only few thousands of degrees. Furthermore, it is largely unkown how the corona is filled with mass and what drives the solar wind that supplies our planetary system with plasma and magnetic fields. It has been realised that a small layer in the solar atmosphere, the interface layer between the surface and the corona, may hold the key to answers to these questions. This interface layer, consisting of what is known as the chromosphere and transition region, is very shallow, only a few thousand kilometers but also very dynamic. Its complex dynamics are dominated by magnetic fields and radiative effects and is very challenging to understand. NASA has launched a small explorer spacecraft in the summer of 2013, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), which is specifically designed to observe this part of the solar atmosphere with unprecedented capabilities. However, IRIS is mostly sensitive to this small part of the atmosphere. We plan to provide key data that are essentially missing in the IRIS' arsenal: high-quality observations of the atmosphere below. These observations will be acquired through coordinated campaigns with the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST) on La Palma. In addition, we will use large-scale, state of the art, computer simulations of the solar atmosphere in combination with advanced numerical tools to interpret the complex observational data. The combination of coordinated IRIS and SST observations and advanced numerical simulations will allow to construct a comprehensive picture of the solar atmosphere.
 

The Swedish 1-metre Solar Telescope (SST) on La Palma in the Canary Islands, one of the prime facilities for high resolution observations of the Sun. The solar physics group at ITA and RoCS has a long tradition of observing with the SST and has an annual quota of more than 40 observing days per year. 
Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph
IRIS in the clean room prior to launch in June 2013. The SOLDYN project has conducted a number of successful coordinated observing campaigns with IRIS and SST. During these campaigns, both telescopes are pointing at the same area on the Sun thus providing comprehensive measurements of the solar atmosphere over a extensive height range. (photo courtesy of Jim Dowdall / Lockheed Martin)

Financing

The SOLDYN project is funded by the University of Oslo and the Research Council of Norway and runs from January 2016 to February 2023.

Cooperation

The SOLDYN project is closely integrated in the Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics (RoCS)

Published May 23, 2019 2:21 PM - Last modified Jan. 28, 2021 2:01 PM