Year of selection 2014
Institution University of Exeter
Country United Kingdom
The fast solar wind, which originates from coronal holes, leads to geomagnetic disturbances on Earth with effects on our modern technologies. Space weather risk is now included in the UK national risk register and is well recognized at the European and international level. The project aims are to elucidate the relations between solar coronal structures associated with the source of the fast solar wind, i.e., coronal holes and polar plumes, and to explore forecasting potentials of these structures on the properties of the fast solar wind. The investigation will combine the development of novel advanced data analysis techniques and the understanding of the underlying
physical processes. It will be based on timely high-resolution observations from a comprehensive suite of multiwavelength remote-sensing solar data (obtained from the space missions SOHO, SDO and STEREO). We have a unique opportunity to get a thorough understanding of the magnetic structures composing the coronal holes and their role into the fast solar wind formation. The innovative aspects in this project are to apply, for the very first time, recently developed data analysis techniques on a large series of images from multi-spacecraft instruments, and also to study the temporal evolution of the coronal structures over several phases of the solar cycle. The main scientific challenge of this project will be to tie up remote with in-situ observations. We anticipate that our results will enable us to validate existing space weather models and make significant improvements to day-to-day forecasting, while giving impact to fundamental research directly relevant to the future European space mission Solar Orbiter.
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