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Electric Fields on the Sun: How Can We Determine Them and Why Should We Care?

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Maria Kazachenko

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of California, Berkeley
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

The most violent space weather events, eruptive solar flares and coronal mass ejections, are driven by the release of free magnetic energy stored in the solar corona. Energy can build up on timescales of hours to days, and then may be suddenly released in the form of a magnetic eruption. Can we use the observed evolution of the magnetic fields in the solar photosphere to model the evolution of the overlying coronal field, including the storage and release of magnetic energy in such eruptions? The objective of CGEM, the Coronal Global Evolutionary Model, is to develop and evaluate such a model. The primary innovation of the CGEM, as compared to the majority of current generation of coronal field models that are constrained to match the surface magnetic field, is the ability of CGEM's corona to support electric currents generated inductively by electric fields, thereby allowing for a consistent energy buildup process in the corona. In this talk I will discuss the new electric field inversion technique we use in CGEM and present its recent applications to find energy fluxes in an evolving active region and to drive the time- dependent coronal magnetic field. Future applications of CGEM to improve space weather forecasts and prospects for the use of DKIST will also be discussed.