Presentation Title

Different Ways the Sun can Explode

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

School

School of Sciences and Social Sciences

Discipline

Physics

Mentor

Sarah McGregor

Abstract

Solar flares, explosive releases of power that rival the force of ten million volcanic eruptions, can occur multiple times a day. The sun releases staggering amounts of energy as a bombardment of particles and radiation, blasting across the solar system towards Earth. It is thought that radiation from the beginning of the flare should scale with the radiation released during the main phase, but new experimental data doesn’t match this hypothesis. So what is happening? We know that the magnetic field of the sun can change how the particles are directed. We believe that in some flare events particles may be directed back towards the sun instead of out into space, increasing the radiation released in the beginning of the flare. To prove this, we are comparing H-alpha images of the sun and images of the solar magnetic field at the time of flare events to determine the magnetic configuration.

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Different Ways the Sun can Explode

Solar flares, explosive releases of power that rival the force of ten million volcanic eruptions, can occur multiple times a day. The sun releases staggering amounts of energy as a bombardment of particles and radiation, blasting across the solar system towards Earth. It is thought that radiation from the beginning of the flare should scale with the radiation released during the main phase, but new experimental data doesn’t match this hypothesis. So what is happening? We know that the magnetic field of the sun can change how the particles are directed. We believe that in some flare events particles may be directed back towards the sun instead of out into space, increasing the radiation released in the beginning of the flare. To prove this, we are comparing H-alpha images of the sun and images of the solar magnetic field at the time of flare events to determine the magnetic configuration.