Solar, Helio, Iono Physics

As of October 12, a new paper was published in Advances in Space Research, which is looking at the SKA’s unique capabilites in terms of spatial, spectral and temporal resolution, as well as sensitivity to provide major new insights in solar physics.

The lead authors of the paper are: Alexendar Ninods, Eduard Kontar and Divya Oberoi, and the pdf version of their paper can be found here.

Below is a general synposis of the paper:

The sun is the star that we can study better because it is so close to us; it gives us insights on fundamental physics questions but also allows us to understand stars in general, especially those of similar class to our sun (class G). The sun is primarily composed by hydrogen and helium, but given the very high temperature, those are disassociated into electrons and ions, which is called a plasma. The motion of this plasma generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process.

The sun emits on a broad frequency ranges, including the radio band, which contains two important frequencies to study the plasma and the magnetic field. The sun emission has a stable component but also several localised, transient emission (bursts or flares), which can vary in intensity from weak to very strong. Observing them requires an instrument with high spatial, spectral and time resolution, and high dynamic range, and the SKA will be the first radio instrument combining together all those capabilities. Solar observations will be done with both Mid and Low and using several observing modes, to observe the non-flaring solar atmosphere as well as capture all sorts of transient events, flares and shocks. All the observations combined together will give a comprehensive view on solar physics.

Report provided by the Solar, Helio & Iono SWG