Science Objectives

Prime Focus

Wave activity in the lower solar atmosphere

The main goal of our focused science team is to obtain a comprehensive picture of wave propagation in the lower solar atmosphere, ranging from the generation of waves in the sub-photospheric layers to their channelling and eventual dissipation in the magnetised outer atmosphere. In particular, the focus is on various (and often coupled) wave modes propagating through structures demonstrating a variety of sizes and properties, which can only be probed using the highest resolution imaging and spectro-polarimetric observations currently available. These studies are expected to yield insights into the coupling mechanisms between individual wave modes, in addition to reliable estimates of the energy transported by MHD waves into the upper solar atmosphere, thus providing new insight into the dissipation mechanisms of these waves and, hence, their contribution to heating the outer layers of the solar atmosphere. These studies will be performed using high-resolution observations interpreted, in tandem, with theoretical models and simulations.

key objectives

In-depth studies of
generation, propagation, and dissipation of waves

Below we identify key objectives of our current projects, which will strive to identify information linked to:

The sub-surface generation of waves (e.g., how coherency/amplitudes may vary across features contained within the same field-of-view, and how these measurements can be utilised to uncover information related to sub-photospheric structuring)

Subsequent mode-coupling (e.g., determining where such preferential conditions exist and how efficient such mechanisms are)

Whether multiple modes regularly co-exist within certain structures (e.g., sunspots, magnetic bright points, spicules, filaments, etc.)

The prevalence of shock formation in the lower atmosphere (not solely acoustic shocks, but also intermediate and [possibly] Alfvén non-linearities)

How the energy is reflected (i.e., re-superimposing itself on to the photospheric observations), damped and/or dissipated in the form of atmospheric heating

A true comparison of high-resolution data with state-of-the-art numerical simulations and theoretical models, such as those from Bifrost, MURaM, CO5BOLD, Mancha, and LARExD codes; and

How asymmetric spectro-polarimetric signatures can be influenced by resolved (and potentially unresolved) wave activity

To address these challenges completely we must employ spectropolarimetric data. This will allow us to determine properties such as magnetic field and line-of-sight velocity as a function of height in our observations. These will be used in tandem with observations of the transition region and the corona. By using spectropolarimteric data can we compare our results more readily with state-of-the-art numerical simulations and theoretical models.