COLLOQUIUM: The Alfvénic Motions of the Sun's Outer Atmosphere
In 2005 a novel imaging spectro-polarimeter, the Coronal Multi-channel Polarimeter (CoMP), was deployed to the Evans Facility in Sunspot, NM to measure the solar corona’s magnetic field. The design of the instrument permitted it to capture something quite unexpected – the ubiquitous Alfvénic motion of the coronal plasma. Shortly thereafter the NASA/JAXA Hinode mission observed the roots of the Alfvénic motion in the complex chromospheric boundary region between the Sun’s surface and the corona. The subsequent launch of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has heightened our ability to study these waves and the structures on which they propagate such that we are beginning to assess their energetic impact on the heliosphere. This presentation will focus on solar observations of Alfvénic waves, what they can tell us about the relentless processes of the Sun’s outer atmosphere, the (possible) contributors to plasma turbulence in the heliosphere, and the hidden energetics of “Space Weather” events if time permits.
The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory 2012-2013 Colloquium Committee is comprised of the following people. Please feel free to contact them by e-mail regarding any possible speakers or topics for future colloquia.