National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Living With A Star

Targeted Research and Technology

Formation, Evolution, and Eruption of Solar Filaments for a Full Cycle: Simulations Verified by Observations

ROSES ID: NNH13ZDA001N      Selection Year: 2013       Duration: 4 years

Program Element: Focused Science Topic

Principal Investigator: Petrus Martens

Affiliation(s): Montana State University-Bozeman


We propose to simulate the formation, and evolution up to eruption of solar filaments for the entire solar cycle 23 and the beginning of cycle 24, drive our simulations by magnetogram observations, and compare the results with recently obtained filament metadata.

The novel aspect of this proposal is that we compare our results with systematic filament observations over the same period carried out by the filament detection module AAFDCC further developed by Pietro Bernasconi as part of the SDO Feature Finding Team, headed by PI Martens. This code not only detects, locates and tracks filaments, but also measures their chirality decisively for about half the cases. The filament module has produced filament metadata for the entire cycle 23 and cycle 24 up to now, and we have the most recent version of these metadata available. We will analyze and verify these data in detail.

We will then try to reproduce these results with the flux transport and non-potential coronal magnetic field simulation code developed by Co-I's Mackay and Yeates. This code has been well tested and already reproduces key aspects of filament evolution varying with the solar cycle. In particular it has already yielded a surprising weakening of the hemispheric chirality rule in the descending phase of the cycle, which seems to be borne out by the filament metadata as well.

The scientific relevance of this project is three-fold. First, with the simulations successfully reproducing the formation, chirality, evolution, and eruption of filaments over a cycle we will have made a decisive step towards physical understanding of the filament formation mechanism. Second, the correct moment and location of eruptions together with the magnetic structure are the necessary initial conditions for simulations of the evolution of interplanetary flux ropes, including Earth-directed CME's, and third, successful reproduction of an entire cycle of filament life-cycles from magnetogram data provides a solid basis for future predictive simulations based upon real-time magnetograms, e.g. from HMI.


Performance YearReferenceInvestigation TypeActions
1Martens, Petrus C.; Yeates, Anthony R.; Pillai, Karth...
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1Schuh, M. A.; Banda, J. M.; Bernasconi, P. N.; Angryk, R. A....
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