This week's seminars
Applied Mathematics Seminars: The Origins of Major Solar Eruptions
23 February 2018 14:00 in CM219
Coronal mass ejections (CME) and the accompanying solar flares are the largest explosions in the solar system. These giant eruptions of magnetic field and matter drive the most destructive space weather here at Earth and throughout interplanetary space; such energetic particle radiation that can pose extreme hazards to deep space astronauts and electric power outages that can disrupt our technological society. Furthermore, solar eruptions are, perhaps, the most accurately measured manifestation of magnetic fields and matter exchanging energy on cosmic scales; therefore, they are highly important for advancing basic science understanding. I will review the latest observations of solar eruptions from NASA space missions, and then present results of recent theoretical and modeling studies. An important new finding in recent years is that the mechanisms underlying solar eruptions may be invariant over many decades in observed energy release. I will discuss the latest 3D MHD numerical simulations on the self-consistent energy buildup and eventual explosive energy release that are the defining features of a CME/flare event. Our results demonstrate that the Sun’s corona is an amazing example of self-organization on cosmic scales.
This work was supported by the NASA Living With a Star Program.
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