MHD MODeling and beyond: in preparation for European Solar Telescope

In force date
Call year
Felipe García
Amount granted to the IAC Consortium
206.668,00 €

Solar Physics research will experience a big step forward in the next years. This progress will be founded on the contribution from recent and upcoming infrastructures, including the European Solar Telescope (EST), whose construction is planned for the next few years. EST will provide an unprecedented sampling of the photosphere and chromosphere to track the most intriguing phenomena from the solar
atmosphere, opening a new window to study our stars magnetism and energetics. The exploitation of the scientific output from EST and other facilities requires the development of advanced theoretical models and diagnostic tools. The goal of this project is to carry out the modeling effort to improve our understanding of fundamental physical processes underlying solar phenomena and to pave the way for the
interpretation of upcoming observations.

Our research strongly relies on the development of numerical experiments and simulations using the non-linear non-ideal MHD code Mancha3D. Simulations with a varying degree of complexity will be computed and analyzed to explore several avenues of astrophysics research. Our targets include solar and stellar magnetoconvection, atmospheric oscillations, waves and instabilities, shocks, prominences,and corona. In this project, we aim to go beyond the MHD approximation that has been the basis of most numerical works to date and keep developing our line of research on the effects of partial ionization on the solar atmospheric plasma. They are produced by the effective separation of charged and neutral particles at small spatio-temporal scales. Recent theoretical results have shown that partial ionization can have a relevant role in the dynamics and energy balance of the solar chromosphere. The current version of Mancha3D can take into account partial ionization through a single-fluid with non-ideal effects or by using a multi-fluid extension. We will further develop the multi-fluid version of the code to include a more detailed description of the processes relevant in the middle and upper chromosphere.

This project is motivated by the forthcoming arrival of the EST and the preparation of models to support its development. As part of this effort, we will perform detailed calculations of the emerging radiation from many of the models computed during the execution of the project. Our aim is to use these synthetic spectra to interpret current observations, refine the requirements for ESTs instrumentation, and
design observing configurations to fully exploit future observations. We will also pursue an observational link by improving the multi-line capabilities of the GRIS spectropolarimeter (for both, long slit and integral field, modes). This update has two purposes. First, addressing several of the observational objectives of the project. Second, serving as a benchmark for the future instrumentation of the EST.

In another independent but related line of research, we will make additional progress on the use of Bayesian inference and model comparison techniques to study the structure of the corona and its heating by waves and instabilities. Coronal loops and prominences exhibit ubiquitous oscillations that are excited by the underlying photosphere and chromosphere. Their observation and interpretation in the theoretical frame of MHD waves allow the application of seismic techniques to diagnose the coronal plasma, as well as the evaluation of the wave mechanisms proposed to explain the coronal-heating problem.

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