LWS TR&T Focus Teams:
Predict Emergence of Solar Active Regions Before they are Visible
Team Chair: Aaron Birch
Target Description: A major roadblock for predictive models of space-weather effects has been our inability to forecast the emergence and evolution of large active regions on the Sun. Recent developments in the field of helioseismology show promise for the detection of active regions that emerge and grow on the far side of the Sun, and for the detection of preemergence signatures on the front side that may be measurable with several different techniques. This research area has obvious importance for improved space-weather modeling, and predictions of the structure of the corona and the heliosphere. Research in this area will greatly enhance the usefulness of the SOLAR-B and SDO missions.
Goals and measures of success: The goal of this Focused Science Topic is to develop, test, and refine techniques for the detection of active regions before they are visible, the exploration of techniques to determine whether preemergent or newly emerged active regions will grow and become flare-productive, and to explore how such knowledge could be incorporated into downstream predictive models of the outer corona and heliosphere. The prime measure of success for this work will be to demonstrate a statistically significant ability to predict the location of new active regions before they are visible on the surface of the Sun and also their evolution.
Types of solicited investigations: It is expected that the focus team will include, but not be limited to, the following types of investigations: The improvement of helioseismic techniques for far side imaging of active regions; the refinement and testing of helioseismic techniques for detecting active regions on the front side of the Sun before they are visible on the surface, and for detecting signatures of developing flare-productive active regions; collaborative research between helioseismologists and solar interior modelers on the behavior of magnetic fields and flows expected in pre-emergent and growing active regions; and the development of techniques to quantitatively assess the predicted impact of a specific newly emerged active region on the global structure of the corona and heliosphere.