Presentation Title

Understanding Solar Flare Dynamics With High-Altitude Balloons

Presenter Information

Corey Boulé

Mentor

Sarah McGregor

Location

David F. Putnam Science Center - 127

Abstract

Solar flares are large energy releases observed at the surface of the sun, capable of outputting the energy equivalent of 160 billion megatons of TNT. Caused by a build-up in magnetic energy, these enormous eruptions result in an emission of radiation spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including large fluxes of x-rays, as well as particles accelerated near the speed of light. Both have far-reaching and harmful effects on Earth and its inhabitants. The focus of this investigation is the initial, impulsive phase of the solar flare. This includes the process of magnetic reconnection, a high-energy plasma phenomenon considered the cause of flare initiation. This presentation will examine the impulsive phase by comparing x-ray emissions of two distinct and powerful flares that occurred on January 7th, 2014 with x-ray observations from an atmospheric balloon survey conducted over Antarctica as well as multi-wavelength observations from several other Earth and space-based observatories.

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Apr 11th, 11:30 AM Apr 11th, 12:30 PM

Understanding Solar Flare Dynamics With High-Altitude Balloons

David F. Putnam Science Center - 127

Solar flares are large energy releases observed at the surface of the sun, capable of outputting the energy equivalent of 160 billion megatons of TNT. Caused by a build-up in magnetic energy, these enormous eruptions result in an emission of radiation spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including large fluxes of x-rays, as well as particles accelerated near the speed of light. Both have far-reaching and harmful effects on Earth and its inhabitants. The focus of this investigation is the initial, impulsive phase of the solar flare. This includes the process of magnetic reconnection, a high-energy plasma phenomenon considered the cause of flare initiation. This presentation will examine the impulsive phase by comparing x-ray emissions of two distinct and powerful flares that occurred on January 7th, 2014 with x-ray observations from an atmospheric balloon survey conducted over Antarctica as well as multi-wavelength observations from several other Earth and space-based observatories.