The hot outer layer of the atmosphere of the Sun, known as the corona, is dynamic and continuously evolving. Understanding the dynamics of the solar corona is crucial for predicting the impacts of the solar activity on the Earth. The corona is filled with waves, which carry energy across different layers of the solar atmosphere. Observations of these waves can be used to estimate properties of the solar plasma which are otherwise difficult to measure using a method known as coronal seismology. Up until now the coronal waves have been studied using simplified models which neglect the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the solar corona.
The project will use realistic numerical models of a large part of the Sun as a laboratory to study waves in the solar corona. This will be done by running simulations which account for the dynamic nature of the solar atmosphere using the numerical code Bifrost and national supercomputing facilities. The project will also use the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, currently the world’s largest solar telescope, to observe waves in the corona in unprecedented detail. Combining advanced numerical models with high-resolution solar observations will help us to understand how waves in the corona are created and how they transport and dissipate energy. It will also enable us to verify and improve the predictions made by coronal seismology, contributing to better knowledge of properties of the solar corona.
The main goal of the ORCS project is to use state-of-the-art numerical models and high-resolution solar observations to understand how waves generate, transport and dissipate energy in the solar atmosphere.
Understanding the dynamics of the solar corona is crucial for predicting the impacts of solar activity on the Earth. The solar corona is highly structured and dynamic with a complex magnetic topology. It is filled with waves which are responsible for transport and dissipation of energy across the solar atmosphere. So far, such waves have been mostly studied using simplified models and it is not yet clear how they behave in realistic magnetic field and density environments.
ORCS will tackle this by combining numerical simulations with high-resolution solar observations. Self-consistent simulations of the solar atmosphere using the Bifrost code are capable of capturing the realistic dynamics of the solar corona. Such simulations can be therefore used as a laboratory for studying waves in the corona. ORCS will take advantage of the existing Bifrost simulations of the solar atmosphere as well as provide new simulations with unprecedented spatial extent into the corona. These models will be used to generate synthetic observables to enable direct comparison with high-resolution observations of the waves in the solar corona. ORCS will use the observations from Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), the word’s largest solar telescope, to identify signatures of wave generation and dissipation mechanisms. The project will finally test the accuracy of coronal seismology estimates of coronal parameters.