National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Living With A Star

Targeted Research and Technology

Prominence Dynamics and Structure with SDO/AIA

ROSES ID: NNH10ZDA001N      Selection Year: 2011      

Program Element: Solar Dynamics Observatory

Principal Investigator: Therese Kucera

Affiliation(s): NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Project Member(s):
Gilbert, Holly Co-I NASA
Luna Bennasar, Manuel Co-I UMCP
Karpen, Judy Collaborator NASA/Goddard Spaceflight Center
Boerner, Paul Collaborator Lockheed Martin
Muglach, Karin Co-I Artep, Inc.
Martin, Sara F Collaborator Helio Research


The question of prominence formation is essential to our understanding

of the energetic processes occurring in the solar atmosphere and solar

magnetic field. New data from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA)

aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) will allow us to make

significant progress in this area.

We will use new data from SDO/AIA to answer the fundamental

questions: what is the origin of solar prominence mass and how does it

evolve? With AIA's unprecedented spatial, temporal, and thermal

coverage of the entire disk we will analyze dynamic prominence motions

to an extent never before possible. This will enable us to test models

of prominence mass formation and energetics, and to make essential

advances in understanding the birth and life cycle of these ubiquitous


To accomplish this goal we will combine two observational

investigations with state-of-the-art prominence modeling. We will

perform: 1) a survey of many prominences to determine what proportion

of prominences exhibit fast extreme ultraviolet (EUV) motions, at what

temperatures they appear, and under what conditions; and 2) an in-depth

study of selected prominences in order to determine the life histories

of moving prominence features, including measurement of temperature

variation, masses, sizes, and velocities.

The survey will allow us to describe the general characteristics of

prominence motions in temperatures from 10^4 to 4x10^6 K so that we can

assess the prevalence of signatures of competing models. The results of

the in-depth studies of individual prominences will be used for

detailed comparisons with and testing of models of prominence mass

formation and energetics. In particular, we will compare our results to

detailed predictions made with the thermal nonequilibrium model of

prominence formation.

This research is directly relevant to 1.2.3 Science Analysis for the

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in the LWS TR&T NRA in that it is

centered on analysis of SDO/AIA data with a goal of understanding an

important manifestation of solar magnetic activity. Prominences are a

key signature of the magnetic variability and organization of the

solar atmosphere. A thorough characterization and understanding of

the processes resulting in plasma dynamics will enhance our

understanding of the magnetic field in prominence channels and perhaps

ultimately the eruptions of these fields.


Performance YearReferenceActions
1Weber, Mark A.; Reeves, K. K.; Gibson, S. E.; Kucera, T. A.;...
1Kucera, Therese A.; Knizhnik, K.; Lopez Ariste, A.; Luna Ben...
1Schmieder, Brigitte; Mein, Pierre; Dalmasse, Kévin; Tian, H...

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